Energy of Computing As A Key Design Aspect (SLAC/Stanford, MIT)


A technical paper titled “Trends in Energy Estimates for Computing in AI/Machine Learning Accelerators, Supercomputers, and Compute-Intensive Applications” was published by researchers at SLAC/Stanford University and MIT.

“We examine the computational energy requirements of different systems driven by the geometrical scaling law, and increasing use of Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning (AI-ML) over the last decade. With more scientific and technology applications based on data-driven discovery, machine learning methods, especially deep neural networks, have become widely used. In order to enable such applications, both hardware accelerators and advanced AI-ML methods have led to the introduction of new architectures, system designs, algorithms, and software. Our analysis of energy trends indicates three important observations: 1) Energy efficiency due to geometrical scaling is slowing down; 2) The energy efficiency at the bit-level does not translate into efficiency at the instruction-level, or at the system-level for a variety of systems, especially for large-scale AI-ML accelerators or supercomputers; 3) At the application level, general-purpose AI-ML methods can be computationally energy intensive, off-setting the gains in energy from geometrical scaling and special purpose accelerators. Further, our analysis provides specific pointers for integrating energy efficiency with performance analysis for enabling high-performance and sustainable computing in the future.”

Find the technical paper here. Published October 2022. Submitted to Proceedings of IEEE Conference on High Performance Extreme Computing (HPEC) 2022.

arXiv:2210.17331v1, Sadasivan Shankar, Albert Reuther.

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