Coherency, Cache And Configurability

Coherency is gaining traction across a wide spectrum of applications as systems vendors begin leveraging heterogeneous computing to improve performance, minimize power, and simplify software development. Coherency is not a new concept, but making it easier to apply has always been a challenge. This is why it has largely been relegated to CPUs with identical processor cores. But the approach ... » read more

How Many Cores? (Part 1)

The optimal number of processor cores in chip designs is becoming less obvious, in part due to new design and architectural options that make it harder to draw clear comparisons, and in part because just throwing more cores at a problem does not guarantee better performance. This is hardly a new problem, but it does have a sizable list of new permutations and variables—right-sized heteroge... » read more

Heterogeneous Multi-Core Headaches

Cache coherency is becoming more pervasive—and more problematic—as the number of heterogeneous cores used in designs continues to rise. Cache coherency is an extension of caching, which has been around since the 1970s. The notion of a cache has a long history of being utilized to speed up a computer's main memory without adding expensive new components. Cache coherency's introduction coi... » read more

SMP, Asymmetric Multi- processing And The HSA Foundation

When we hear the term “multiprocessing,” we often associate it with “symmetric multiprocessing (SMP).” This is because of SMP’s initial prevalence in the high-performance computing world, and now in x86/x64 servers and PCs. However, it’s been known for years that SMP’s ability to scale performance as the number of cores increases is poor. (For more information on SMP’s inability... » read more