Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Computing

STI Center of Competence for the Cell Broadband Engine Processor

Cell Processor

Sony Toshiba IBM

SC08 Birds of a Feather (BOF):
Unleashing the Power of the Cell BE for HPC Applications

Date: Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Time: 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Location: Room 18 A-D
Austin, TX



The Cell/B.E. is a heterogeneous multi-core processor, which promises a great impact on HPC. For example, it is used in the IBM Roadrunner, the first supercomputer to break the Petaflops barrier. This Birds-of-a-Feather intends to stimulate an open discussion on techniques and tools that can enable HPC applications to exploit this power. Topics will include those given below.
  1. How can application developers get maximum performance through productivity frameworks such as ALF and DACS?
  2. What productivity tools are available? We shall discuss features of the IBM SDK for Multicore Acceleration 3.1, and its use for developing Cell-accelerated applications.
  3. What workloads have affinity to the Cell/B.E. Processor? We will discuss optimized computational kernels that perform well, and open problems.
  4. We will discuss the roadmap for the Cell processor.

Suggestions from the Cell User Community

We seek input from the Cell user community on questions to be discussed during the BOF. We list a few questions below. Please email us if you have additional questions you would like discussed.

  1. Which types of applications suit the Cell and which types suit GPUs?
  2. What has hindered people from porting their applications to the Cell?
  3. What changes or additional features would induce people to use Cell for their applications?
  4. Can the Cell have a role in exascale computing, and what will be required to enable that?
  5. What is IBM's current roadmap for the Cell?