GPUs as an Opportunity for Offloading Garbage Collection

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Provided by: Association for Computing Machinery
Topic: Hardware
Format: PDF
GPUs have become part of most commodity systems. Nonetheless, they are often underutilized when not executing graphics intensive or special-purpose numerical computations, which are rare in consumer workloads. Emerging architectures, such as integrated CPU/GPU combinations, may create an opportunity to utilize these otherwise unused cycles for offloading traditional systems tasks. Garbage collection appears to be a particularly promising candidate for offloading, due to the popularity of managed languages on consumer devices. The authors investigate the challenges for offloading garbage collection to a GPU, by examining the performance trade-offs for the mark phase of a mark & sweep garbage collector.
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