ADN Issue 6, May 2014


Heterogeneous Multicore Processors
Multicore Developers Conference

Developing a heterogeneous multicore SoC for use in a mobile environment
Peter McGuinness
Director, Imagination Technologies
Embedded, April 26, 2014
Mobile SoCs have been multicore for some time now, both in the homogeneous sense of an array of identical (or at least similar) CPU cores and also in the heterogeneous sense of DSPs, GPUs, and other programmable and configurable processing cores on the die. With this variety of parallel processing opportunities available, what kinds of applications and use cases drive the increasing adoption of heterogeneous multicore implementations and what are the benefits available to users?

Tags: Heterogeneous, Embedded, Multicore, SoC, Mobile,
Programming heterogeneous multicore embedded SoCs
Ajay Jayaraj
Texas Instruments
Embedded, April 26, 2014
Over the last decade, the market demand for increased processing performance with reduced power and area footprint has remained strong and embedded SoCs have stepped up to the challenge. This performance, power and area (PPA) improvement has been achieved by adding cores -- both general purpose cores and specialized cores such as DSPs and GPUs among other things. This trend has resulted in networks of heterogeneous multicore embedded SoCs.

Tags: Heterogeneous, Embedded, Multicore, SoC,
Picking the right multicore architecture for your compute-intensive application
Stephen Olsen
Wind River Systems
Embedded, April 26, 2014
From small, highly-integrated system on chips to full blown multicore powerhouses, the multicore revolution is here. But what is the best way to address it in your systems? Trying to leverage all that compute power at your fingertips is a daunting task.

Some of the hardware that is available - like the Freescale T4240, which has 12 multithreading cores that schedule 24 threads where two threads share a core, and where three sets of four cores share a 2MB cache, can get very complex. Is it better to run just one OS domain with all cores and threads scheduled from a single OS domain, or is it better to divide up all the compute power into many individual OS domains where they all have control of set of tasks? It really depends on the applications used. Is the application parallel safe, and is it data-intensive? Taking advantage of the shared level 2 cache may make a good boundary.

Tags: Multicore, Architecture, Compute-Intensive, Application,
A portable multicore runtime library based on embedded industry standards
Sunita Chandrasekaran, Cheng Wang, and Barbara Chapman
University of Houston
Embedded, April 27, 2014
Multicore embedded systems are widely used in telecommunication systems, robotics, automotive vision systems, medical applications, life critical systems and more. Today, they usually consist of homogeneous/heterogeneous cores operating on different ISAs, operating systems, and dedicated memory systems in order to provide high throughput, low latency, and energy-efficient solutions.

In spite of the great potential of multicore embedded systems, the lack of software development tools and standards has created a barrier to their full adoption. Programmers are required to write low-level code, schedule work units, and manage synchronization between cores if they are to reap significant benefits from these systems. As system complexity increases, it is not practical to expect programmers to handle all the low-level details in order to exploit the platform's concurrency.

Tags: Multicore, Library, Development Tools,
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