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Software Design Space Exploration for Exascale Co-Design

C. Chan, D. Unat, M. Lijewski, W. Zhang, J. B. Bell, J. Shalf, “Software Design Space Exploration for Exascale Co-Design”, International Supercomputing Conference (ISC), 2013

Abstract: The design of hardware for next-generation exascale computing systems will require a deep understanding of how software optimizations impact hardware design trade-offs. In order to characterize how co-tuning hardware and software parameters affects the performance of combustion simulation codes, we created ExaSAT, a computer-driven static analysis and performance-modeling framework. Our framework can evaluate hundreds of hardware/software configurations in seconds, providing an essential speed advantage over simulators and dynamic analysis techniques during the co-design process. Our analytic performance model shows that advanced code transformations, such as cache blocking and loop fusion, can have a significant impact on choices for cache and memory architecture. Our modeling helped us identify tined configurations that achieve a 90% reduction in memory traffic, which could significantly improve performance and reduce energy consumption. These techniques will also be useful for the development of advanced programming models and runtimes, which must reason about these optimizations to delivery better performance and energy efficiency.

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