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The Taub Faculty of Computer Science Events and Talks

ceClub: Variability SmartBalance: A Sensing-Driven Linux Load Balancer for Energy Efficiency of Heterogeneous MPSoCs
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Prof. Alex Nicolau (University of California, Irvine)
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Wednesday, 25.03.2015, 11:30
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Taub 6
A short overview of the NSF Variability Expedition will be given, followed by an overview of a particular result: SmartBalance.

Due to increased demand for higher performance and better energy efficiency, MPSoCs are deploying heterogeneous architectures with architecturally differentiated core types. However, the traditional Linux-based operating system is unable to exploit this heterogeneity since existing kernel load balancing and scheduling approaches lack support for aggressively heterogeneous architectural configurations (e.g. beyond two core types). In this paper we present SmartBalance: a sensing-driven closed-loop load balancer for aggressively heterogeneous MPSoCs that performs load balancing using a sense-predict-balance paradigm. SmartBalance can efficiently manage the chip resources while opportunistically exploiting the workload variations and performance-power trade-offs of different core types. When compared to the standard vanilla Linux kernel load balancer, our per-thread and per-core performance-power-aware scheme shows an improvement in energy efficiency (throughput/Watt) of over 50% for benchmarks from the PARSEC benchmark suite executing on a heterogeneous MPSoC with 4 different core types and over 20% w.r.t. state-of-the-art ARM's global task scheduling (GTS) scheme for octa-core big.Little architecture.

Bio: Alex Nicolau received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Yale University in 1984, and served on the faculty of the computer science department at Cornell University until 1988. That year he joined the University of California, Irvine as an associate professor, where he serves as full professor since 1992 and department chair since 2013.

The author of over 300 conference and journal articles and many books, Alex chaired numerous international conferences (e.g., ACM International Supercomputing Conference (ICS) and Principles and Practice of Parallel Programming) and is editor in chief of the International Journal of Parallel Programming, the oldest journal in that field. He is also an IEEE Fellow.