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Design Trade-offs for Emerging HPC Processors Based on Mobile Market Technology

High-performance computing (HPC) is at the crossroads of a potential transition toward mobile market processor technology. Unlike in prior transitions, numerous hardware vendors and integrators will have access to state-of-the-art processor designs due to Arm’s licensing business model. This fact gives them greater flexibility to implement custom HPC-specific designs. In this paper, we undertake a study to quantify the different energy-performance trade-offs when architecting a processor based on mobile market technology. Through detailed simulations over a representative set of benchmarks, our results show that: (i) a modest amount of last-level cache per core is sufficient, leading to significant power and area savings; (ii) in-order cores offer favorable trade-offs when compared to out-of-order cores for a wide range of benchmarks; and (iii) heterogeneous configurations help to improve processor performance and energy efficiency.

DOI: 10.1007/s11227-019-02819-4