An Analysis of Accelerator Coupling in Heterogeneous Architectures

An Analysis of Accelerator Coupling in Heterogeneous Architectures

Existing research on accelerators has emphasized the performance and energy efficiency improvements they can provide, devoting little attention to practical issues such as accelerator invocation and interaction with other on-chip components (e.g. cores, caches). In this paper we present a quantitative study that considers these aspects by implementing seven high-throughput accelerators following three design models: tight coupling behind a CPU, loose out-of-core coupling with Direct Memory Access (DMA) to the LLC, and loose out-of-core coupling with DMA to DRAM. A salient conclusion of our study is that working sets of non-trivial size are best served by loosely-coupled accelerators that integrate private memory blocks tailored to their needs.

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Emilio G. Cota

June 12, 2015