Asymmetries in Multi-Core Systems - Or Why We Need Better Performance Measurement Units

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Provided by: ETH Zurich
Topic: Hardware
Format: PDF
Future exascale systems will be based on multi-core processors, but even today's multi-core processors can be asymmetric and exhibit limitations and bottlenecks that are different from those found on a symmetric multiprocessor. In this paper the authors investigate the performance of a cluster node based on the Intel Xeon E5345 quad-core processor and note that despite the symmetry implied by the programming model, the available memory bandwidth is not shared equally among the cores. Consequently, applications experience substantial performance variance and slow-downs when the tasks (threads) are mapped to cores in a naive manner.
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