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Primeur weekly 2014-12-22

Focus

SimScale engineering simulation platform is perfectly running in a web browser now ...

EuroFlash

RSC Group has entered in the Top10 of the world leading supercomputer vendors by TOP500 list ...

ISC High Performance introduces workshops in 2015 ...

ADVA Optical Networking transforms fiber access networks with new Access Link Monitoring solution ...

Telindus Telecom deploys ADVA Optical Networking's encryption technology to secure operator network and Cloud services ...

Institute of Aircraft Design at the University of Stuttgart selects Bright Cluster Manager for its HPC data centre ...

Imec partners with Huawei on high-bandwidth optical data link technology ...

Six new projects enabling scientific discovery to start in 2015 ...

ENTRA: Better software cuts computer energy use ...

USFlash

Cray awarded $30 million contract from the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Programme ...

High Performance Computing Modernization Programme (HPCMP) doubles capabilities ...

Ancient wisdom boosts sustainability of biotech cotton ...

Compute Canada attracts High Performance Computing talent to lead upgrades to the national advanced research platform ...

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory a major contributor to Washington state economy ...

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs taps IBM Watson to help accelerate and enhance care delivery ...

More than 100 teams expected for ASC15, road-showed at Melbourne and Nanjing ...

Stanford team combines logic, memory to build a 'high-rise' chip ...

Tulane has one of the world's fastest computers ...

Funding ended for University of California High-Performance AstroComputing Center ...

Simulations at NERSC help illuminate attosecond laser experiment findings ...

Riding a 100G InfiniBand backbone, InfiniCortex, the Intercontinental Supercomputing Architecture, debuts in New Orleans ...

Quantum physics just got less complicated ...

Switching to spintronics ...

Lasers, multiple languages support and more with wysiwyg R34 ...

ENTRA: Better software cuts computer energy use

17 Dec 2014 Roskilde - A European Union research project is developing tools to help software engineers create energy-efficient code, which could reduce electricity consumption at data centres by up to 50% and improve battery life in smart devices.

Until now the target for energy savings by computers has been the hardware. But hardware is only part of the story, perhaps even the smaller part, as new a EU project is showing. Even with energy-efficient hardware, much of the potential for energy savings is wasted by the drain that inefficient software places on systems.

The ENTRA project, which runs until September 2015, has come up with an experimental software prototype based on programming semantics that tells programmers how much energy will be consumed as a result of the code they are writing. The ENTRA tool runs alongside the program and, through code analysis and energy modelling, shows how much the code is going to cost the computer in terms of energy use, and what the impact of design decisions on energy use will be.

"Compare it to the fuel efficiency of a car", stated ENTRA coordinator Professor John Gallagher, of Roskilde University in Denmark. "We think of that being the property of the car. You buy a car and it is supposed to consume 8 litres per 100 km or whatever, but of course that depends on the way you drive it. The same is true for computing. You think of energy being associated with the hardware, but it seems that potentially more energy is savable at the software level with the same hardware, rather than putting a lot of effort into developing more energy-efficient hardware. That's where the ENTRA project comes in."

The ENTRA project focuses on energy efficiency as a design goal and aims to bring energy efficient products by IT companies - quicker to market. The ENTRA tool shows energy use in terms of Watts (power consumption) or in absolute energy requirements - the energy needed to finish the task - depending on the speed of the processor (GHz). Rather than having to wait until the programme is installed and running on a machine and then measuring its energy - often too late to do anything about it, the programmer gets an early picture from the energy predictions in the code.

The energy consumption of computers has become a major concern, both environmentally in terms of carbon footprint, and practically through the need for greater battery life. The huge growth in Cloud computing over the past decade has meant data centres have become very large consumers of energy. Power is needed not just for cooling, but also to process and transport data. The ENTRA approach can help both with the programming and with scheduling of tasks to minimize energy.

As the demand for computing power increases exponentially, software applications will need to be designed in an energy-efficient way to allow smaller batteries to be charged less frequently.

With an eye on meeting these challenges, the ENTRA prototype is being tested on three typical energy-hungry components: real-time audio processing, robot and motor control, and real-time networking. The software defining them is being run on hardware at XMOS, a semiconductor company in Bristol, the United Kingdom, which produces for the automotive, computing and games industries. Researchers in the project are seeing in these case studies that energy savings could be at least 20-50 percent, e.g. by compacting programmes, and optimizing timing of operations to permit lower processor speeds.

XMOS plans to add ENTRA components for energy optimization into its tool-chain. The ENTRA results are also being exposed to internationally leading companies such as ARM and ST Microelectronics, and world leading academics in energy-efficient computing at the EACO (Energy Aware COmputing) workshops.

Scaling up ENTRA's results to system level is feasible, said Professor Gallagher. "The whole approach is independent of any particular hardware or application domain in the sense that it is based purely on the programming language semantics and a general energy model. So we could apply the same techniques to high performance computers", he pointed out.

The ENTRA project, consisting of 4 partners in Denmark, the UK and Spain, began in October 2012, ends on 30 September 2015, and receives FP7 funding of 2.1 million euros.

More information is available at the ENTRA project's website.
Source: European Commission, CORDIS

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2014-12-22

Focus

SimScale engineering simulation platform is perfectly running in a web browser now ...

EuroFlash

RSC Group has entered in the Top10 of the world leading supercomputer vendors by TOP500 list ...

ISC High Performance introduces workshops in 2015 ...

ADVA Optical Networking transforms fiber access networks with new Access Link Monitoring solution ...

Telindus Telecom deploys ADVA Optical Networking's encryption technology to secure operator network and Cloud services ...

Institute of Aircraft Design at the University of Stuttgart selects Bright Cluster Manager for its HPC data centre ...

Imec partners with Huawei on high-bandwidth optical data link technology ...

Six new projects enabling scientific discovery to start in 2015 ...

ENTRA: Better software cuts computer energy use ...

USFlash

Cray awarded $30 million contract from the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Programme ...

High Performance Computing Modernization Programme (HPCMP) doubles capabilities ...

Ancient wisdom boosts sustainability of biotech cotton ...

Compute Canada attracts High Performance Computing talent to lead upgrades to the national advanced research platform ...

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory a major contributor to Washington state economy ...

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs taps IBM Watson to help accelerate and enhance care delivery ...

More than 100 teams expected for ASC15, road-showed at Melbourne and Nanjing ...

Stanford team combines logic, memory to build a 'high-rise' chip ...

Tulane has one of the world's fastest computers ...

Funding ended for University of California High-Performance AstroComputing Center ...

Simulations at NERSC help illuminate attosecond laser experiment findings ...

Riding a 100G InfiniBand backbone, InfiniCortex, the Intercontinental Supercomputing Architecture, debuts in New Orleans ...

Quantum physics just got less complicated ...

Switching to spintronics ...

Lasers, multiple languages support and more with wysiwyg R34 ...