Over its three-year lifespan, Adept has investigated energy consumption in parallel hardware and software. Energy efficiency is becoming a serious consideration for developers of high-performance and high-throughput computing systems. As computers become more powerful, they inevitably consume more energy – unless the technology is improved so they become more efficient.
The Adept project brought together experts from High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Embedded computing to develop a comprehensive suite of state-of-the-art tools that enable the evaluation and optimization of a system’s energy and power usage.
“This is a significant step forward in understanding where exactly in a parallel computing system energy is consumed,” says Dr Michèle Weiland, Project Coordinator for Adept. “Giving both hardware and software developers access to this type of information allows them to make informed choices about new implementations, without guesswork.”
Dr Andrew McCormick, Director at Alpha Data Parallel Systems, says, “Alpha Data is pleased to have been part of Adept as it was a project that has brought energy efficiency in computing into the limelight. We contributed expertise in developing embedded FPGA and System-on-Chip hardware for multi-sensor systems to the project, developing a custom, robust and flexible data capture system for energy and power measurement as part of the project’s multi-platform experimental verification and test lab. The approaches of optimizing code to match hardware architecture or selecting hardware to best match code aligns with an increase in heterogeneity in computing systems to maximize performance per watt.”
The Adept Tool Suite consists of three parts: a benchmark suite, power measurement infrastructure, and power and performance prediction tool.
- Adept Benchmark Suite: a range of tests, from single-instruction benchmarks all the way up to small applications. These are designed to characterize power and energy use on different systems under a variety of scenarios, in conjunction with external power measurement.
- Download the Power Measurement Infrastructure designs: a hardware-based solution for measuring power in all aspects of a system over time. The fine-grained architecture is capable of taking one million samples per second from all components of a system.