Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Computing

STI Center of Competence for the Cell Broadband Engine Processor

Cell Processor

Sony Toshiba IBM

SC07 Birds of a Feather (BOF):
Unleashing the Power of the Cell Broadband Engine Processor for HPC

November 15, 2007
Reno, NV



The Cell/B.E. is a heterogeneous multi-core processor, capable of over 200 gigaflops. This Birds-of-a-Feather includes discussion of techniques and tools that can enable HPC-applications to exploit this power:
  1. How can application developers get maximum performance through "heroic" programming efforts? We shall discuss programming tricks and algorithmic techniques for some important computational kernels, and open problems.
  2. What productivity tools are available? We shall discuss features of the Cell-SDK-3.0, performance tools, programming models, and developing applications using the PS3.
  3. Will a lightweight-OS be suitable for Cell? An embedded real-time Linux may help reduce the load on the PPU, and can be effective in the SPU-centric programming model which is typically used.
  4. How can the Cell/B.E. be used as an accelerator for traditional processors? We shall discuss the LANL Roadrunner, which uses Cell/B.E.-processors to augment Opterons, with the former handling the bulk of the computational workload.