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Bristol EACO Workshop 5

The theme of this workshop is reporting on progress for the first collaborative research projects and taking energy transparency research to the next level.

Special focus of this workshop is on presenting the first results of working together in our newly established industry-academic collaborations. At the 4th EACO workshop in April 2012 we identified several seed projects towards solving some of the Intellectual Challenges put forward at previous EACO workshops. First results from these projects will be presented and opened up for discussion with an aim to determine next steps and to widen participation.

Our main objective will be to review project outcomes and to define our strategy on how to take these projects further, e.g. seeking external funding by addressing funding bodies.

Agenda

  1. 9:00 Registration
  2. 9:30 Welcome and Introduction - Kerstin Eder and David May, University of Bristol
  3. 9:45 "Energy Efficiency - Technological and Commercial Challenges", Roger Shepherd, ST Microelectronics
  4. ~10:45 Short Coffee Break
  5. 11:00 "Overview of the seed projects", Kerstin Eder, University of Bristol
  6. ~11:30 "The impact of compiler options on energy consumption in embedded platforms", James Pallister, University of Bristol, in collaboration with Jeremy Bennett, Embecosm
  7. 12:15 "Funding a research project at UoB: HOWTO-1", Jeremy Bennett, Embecosm
  8. ~12:30 Lunch including Networking Seed Project Discussion
  9. 13:30 "The TSB Energy Efficient Computing competition for feasibility funding", Jonathan Mitchener, TSB
  10. 13:45 "An energy efficiency investigation on ARM- and GPU-based HPC systems", Mike Boulton, University of Bristol, in collaboration with AWE
  11. ~14:15 "Funding a research project at UoB: HOWTO-2", tbc, AWE
  12. 14:30 "The Energy-Aware COmputing Platform (EACOP)" followed by a discussion, Kerstin Eder, University of Bristol
  13. ~15:00 Short Coffee Break
  14. 15:15 "Introduction to the EU-FP7-FET MINECC ENergy TRAnsparency (ENTRA) project", John Gallagher, Roskilde University, with introductions of the consortium
  15. 15:45 Open session to present new initiatives and projects in EACO, including introduction to the Microelectronics group's DeSyRe project by Rishad Shafik.
  16. ~16:00 Discussion and Conclusion
  17. 16:30 Drinks Reception and Networking
  18. 17:00 END

Abstracts

Energy Efficiency - Technological and Commercial Challenges

Roger Shepherd, ST Microelectronics

The impact of compiler options on energy consumption in embedded platforms

James Pallister, Embecosm and University of Bristol
Simon Hollis, University of Bristol
Jeremy Bennett, Embecosm

Whilst most energy efficiency work targets hardware designs, inefficient software that runs on top can outweigh any savings that may be provided at a low level. In this work, we look at how setting various optimisation flags on the GCC compiler chain affects the energy consumption of a program. We measure the energy and time usage of a new suite of programs, targeted at the embedded space. We observe the effect of switching on and off GCC optimisation flags for a range of embedded hardware architectures and show that, whilst some optimations are energy-saving, many are not.

An energy efficiency investigation on ARM- and GPU-based HPC systems

Mike Boulton, University of Bristol, in collaboration with AWE

High Performance Computing systems are becoming increasingly limited by power, and so energy efficiency has recently become a primary concern. In this investigation we have explored two alternative architectures to today's mainstream x86 clusters which promise significant increases in energy efficiency: systems based on processors from the mobile space, and GPUs. Our investigation took a new parallel benchmark code developed by our industrial partner, AWE, and ported it to the Mont Blanc PRACE prototype system at the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre. We also analysed the performance on a number of GPU systems, including Emerald, the largest GPU supercomputer in the UK. We will present our results, including an analysis of energy efficiency of the different systems, and also cover the ease of use of these emerging architectures for HPC applications.

The Energy-Aware COmputing Platform (EACOP)

Kerstin Eder, University of Bristol

Energy-aware computing is a challenge that requires investigating the entire "system stack" from application software and algorithms, via programming languages, compiler tool chains, operating systems, processor instruction sets and micro architectures, down to the hardware. While hardware can be designed to save a modest amount of energy, the potential for savings are far greater at the higher levels of abstraction; the greatest savings are expected from energy consumption-aware software. To achieve this, transparency needs to be introduced into the system stack so that energy consumption values can be propagated from the hardware platform to the upper layers in the system stack. The EACOP project bridges exactly this gap between hardware and software by creating a computing platform that with integrated real-time energy monitoring of computations.

Introduction to the EU-FP7-FET MINECC ENergy TRAnsparency (ENTRA) project

John Gallagher, Roskilde University

The "Whole Systems ENergy TRAnsparency (ENTRA)" project is funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme Future and Emerging Technologies Objective "Minimizing Energy Consumption of Computing to the Limit". The goal of the ENTRA project is to promote energy-aware system development, using advanced energy modelling and program analysis techniques to make predictions of energy usage available to the system developer and tool chain. This will enable optimizations both during code development and at run-time and lead to more energyefficient computer systems. The ENTRA consortium includes researchers from Roskilde University, Denmark, the IMDEA Research Institute in Madrid, Spain, the University of Bristol and XMOS as technology provider. The ENTRA project started on 1st October 2012 with funding for 3 years. The consortium is actively seeking opportunities to connect to further industrial partners for feedback and new evaluation case studies.