Memory Hierarchy Visibility in Parallel Programming Languages

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


Keynote presentation at the ACM SIGPLAN Workshop on Memory Systems Performance and Correctness, as part of the 35th annual ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation. The abstract follows:

The choice as to which levels in a memory hierarchy are exposed within a programming language or API can be critical. Expose too many, and you risk programmability, and performance portability.

Heterogeneous computing and GPGPU aims to repurpose the data-parallel capability of graphics and commodity hardware for general calculations. GPGPU APIs, which now include OpenCL SYCL; Apple's Metal; and Qualcomm's MARE; must all decide on a suitable abstraction for hardware memory levels. Established GPGPU APIs such as CUDA, C++AMP, and OpenCL offer language support for four levels of volatile memory. However, while the presence of GPUs are now essentially ubiquitous, the diminished role of discrete graphics cards invigorates questions regarding memory abstraction.

The multicore revolutionaries have now ceded mobile computing to the CPU-GPU system-on-chips; firmly established in mainstream options such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon; Samsung Exynos; and the AMD APU series. Meanwhile, the HSA Foundation builds upon a bedrock of uniform memory access; the Android GPGPU API, Renderscript, eschews explicit memory address spaces; and CUDA now offers "unified" memory. Can caché once again mean hidden?
Period13 Jun 2014
Event title35th annual ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation
Event typeConference
LocationEdinburgh, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational