A Survey of Techniques For Improving Energy Efficiency in Embedded Computing Systems

February 11th, 2015


Recent technological advances have greatly improved the performance and features of embedded systems. With the number of just mobile devices now reaching nearly equal to the population of earth, embedded systems have truly become ubiquitous. These trends, however, have also made the task of managing their power consumption extremely challenging. In recent years, several techniques have been proposed to address this issue. In this paper, we survey the techniques for managing power consumption of embedded systems. We discuss the need of power management and provide a classification of the techniques on several important parameters to highlight their similarities and differences. This paper also reviews those techniques which use GPU and FPGA to improve energy efficiency of embedded systems. This paper is intended to help the researchers and application-developers in gaining insights into the working of power management techniques and designing even more efficient high-performance embedded systems of tomorrow.

Sparsh Mittal, “A Survey of Techniques For Improving Energy Efficiency in Embedded Computing Systems”, International Journal of Computer Aided Engineering and Technology (IJCAET), vol 6, no. 4, 2014. WWW

A Survey of Methods for Analyzing and Improving GPU Energy Efficiency

February 10th, 2015


Recent years have witnessed a phenomenal growth in the computational capabilities and applications of GPUs. However, this trend has also led to dramatic increase in their power consumption. This paper surveys research works on analyzing and improving energy efficiency of GPUs. It also provides a classification of these techniques on the basis of their main research idea. Further, it attempts to synthesize research works which compare energy efficiency of GPUs with other computing systems, e.g. FPGAs and CPUs. The aim of this survey is to provide researchers with knowledge of state-of-the-art in GPU power management and motivate them to architect highly energy-efficient GPUs of tomorrow.

Sparsh Mittal, Jeffrey S Vetter, “A Survey of Methods for Analyzing and Improving GPU Energy Efficiency”, in ACM Computing Surveys, vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 19:1-19:23, 2014. [WWW]

On the Use of Remote GPUs and Low-Power Processors for the Acceleration of Scientific Applications

June 8th, 2014


Many current high-performance clusters include one or more GPUs per node in order to dramatically reduce application execution time, but the utilization of these accelerators is usually far below 100%. In this context, emote GPU virtualization can help to reduce acquisition costs as well as the overall energy consumption. In this paper, we investigate the potential overhead and bottlenecks of several “heterogeneous” scenarios consisting of client GPU-less nodes running CUDA applications and remote GPU-equipped server nodes providing access to NVIDIA hardware accelerators. The experimental evaluation is performed using three general-purpose multicore processors (Intel Xeon, Intel Atom and ARM Cortex A9), two graphics accelerators (NVIDIA GeForce GTX480 and NVIDIA Quadro M1000), and two relevant scientific applications (CUDASW++ and LAMMPS) arising in bioinformatics and molecular dynamics simulations.

(A. Castelló, J. Duato, R. Mayo, A. J. Peña, E. S. Quintana-Ortí, V. Roca, and F. Silla, “On the Use of Remote GPUs and Low-Power Processors for the Acceleration of Scientific Applications”. Fourth International Conference on Smart Grids, Green Communications and IT Energy-aware Technologies, ENERGY 2014, Chamonix (France), pp. 57–62, 20 – 24 April 2014. [PDF])

General Purpose Computing on Low-Power Embedded GPUs: Has It Come of Age?

April 29th, 2013


In this paper we evaluate the promise held by lowpower GPUs for non-graphic workloads that arise in embedded systems. Towards this, we map and implement 5 benchmarks, that find utility in very different application domains, to an embedded GPU. Our results show that apart from accelerated performance, embedded GPUs are promising also because of their energy efficiency which is an important design goal for battery-driven mobile devices. We show that adopting the same optimization strategies as those used for programming high-end GPUs might lead to worse performance on embedded GPUs. This is due to restricted features of embedded GPUs, such as, limited or no user-defined memory, small instruction-set, limited number of registers, among others. We propose techniques to overcome such challenges, e.g., by distributing the workload between GPUs and multi-core CPUs, similar to the spirit of heterogeneous computation.

(Arian Maghazeh, Unmesh D. Bordoloi, Petru Eles and Zebo Peng: “General Purpose Computing on Low-Power Embedded GPUs: Has It Come of Age?”, 13th International Conference on Embedded Computer Systems: Architectures, Modeling, and Simulation, Samos, Greece, July 15-18, 2013. [Preprint])

SPRAT: Runtime Processor Selection for Energy-aware Computing

October 16th, 2008

This paper by Takizawa et al. at Tohoku University describes a programming framework named Stream Programming with Runtime Auto-Tuning (SPRAT) that combines a high-level programming language with runtime processor selection. Today, a commodity PC can be seen as a hybrid computing system equipped with two different kinds of processors, i.e. CPU and GPU. Since the superiorities of GPUs in the performance and the power efficiency strongly depend on the system configuration and the data size determined at run time, a programmer cannot always know which processor should be used to execute a certain kernel. Therefore, this paper describes the SPRAT framework, which dynamically selects an appropriate processor so as to improve energy efficiency. The evaluation results clearly indicate that the run-time processor selection on execution of each kernel with the given data streams is promising for energy-aware computing on a hybrid computing system. (SPRAT:Runtime Processor Selection for Energy-aware Computing. Hiroyuki Takizawa, Katuto Sato, and Hiroaki Kobayashi. To appear in Proceedings of IEEE Cluster 2008 (the 3rd international workshop on automatic performance tuning).)