Overview of Swallow --- A Scalable 480-core System for Investigating the Performance and Energy Efficiency of Many-core Applications and Operating Systems

Simon J. Hollis, Steve Kerrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We present Swallow, a scalable many-core architecture, with a current configuration of 480 x 32-bit processors. Swallow is an open-source architecture, designed from the ground up to deliver scalable increases in usable computational power to allow experimentation with many-core applications and the operating systems that support them. Scalability is enabled by the creation of a tile-able system with a low-latency interconnect, featuring an attractive communication-to-computation ratio and the use of a distributed memory configuration. We analyse the energy and computational and communication performances of Swallow. The system provides 240GIPS with each core consuming 71--193mW, dependent on workload. Power consumption per instruction is lower than almost all systems of comparable scale. We also show how the use of a distributed operating system (nOS) allows the easy creation of scalable software to exploit Swallow's potential. Finally, we show two use case studies: modelling neurons and the overlay of shared memory on a distributed memory system.
Original languageEnglish
JournalarXiv
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

An open source release of the Swallow system design and code will follow and references to these will be added at a later date

Keywords

  • cs.DC
  • cs.AR
  • cs.DS

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