27 Jun 2017 Gainesville - SPEC's High-Performance Group (SPEC/HPG) has released a new version of its SPEC ACCEL software that adds a suite of OpenMP applications for measuring the performance of systems using hardware accelerator devices and supporting software. SPEC ACCEL also measures performance for computationally intensive parallel applications running under the OpenCL and OpenACC programming models.
Another major update in SPEC ACCEL 1.2 allows users to add and change directives within the OpenMP and OpenACC suites to expose more parallelism for peak performance testing. SPEC/HPG also revised applications in the OpenACC suite to allow for successful GNU compiling, making results no longer comparable with those from version 1.0 or 1.1.
SPEC ACCEL 1.2 exercises the performance of the accelerator, host CPU, memory transfer between host and accelerator, support libraries and drivers, and compilers. The new OpenMP suite contains the same applications and datasets as the OpenACC suite, but results are not directly comparable, since the benchmarks use different reference systems and in some cases different parallelization constructs.
Vendors can use SPEC ACCEL to improve performance of systems that include accelerator devices. Users can employ the software to make buying and configuration decisions. Researchers can use it to assess the ramifications of new technologies on performance.
"The OpenMP application benchmarks are the first of their kind and now give our customers the opportunity to compare hardware configurations based on the most popular open-programming models", stated Guido Juckeland, SPEC/HPG vice chair. "We look forward to a wide variety of SPEC ACCEL result submissions on the SPEC website and a number of research papers comparing various optimization settings on multiple platforms."
SPEC ACCEL 1.2 comprises 19 application benchmarks running under OpenCL and 15 each under OpenACC and OpenMP. The OpenCL suite is derived from the Parboil benchmark developed by the IMPACT Research Group of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Rodinia benchmark from the University of Virginia. The OpenACC and OpenMP suites include tests from NAS Parallel Benchmarks (NPB), SPEC OMP2012, and others derived from high-performance computing (HPC) applications.
SPEC ACCEL 1.2 also contains the latest version of SPEC PTDaemon, which enables power measurements while the benchmark is running, providing a separate metric for energy efficiency.
SPEC/HPG members involved in SPEC ACCEL 1.2 development include AMD, HPE, IBM, Intel, Nvidia and Oracle. SPEC/HPG Associates include Argonne National Laboratory; Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf; Indiana University; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; RWTH Aachen University; Technische Universitat Dresden, ZIH; and University of Delaware.
SPEC ACCEL 1.2 is available for immediate download on the SPEC website. The benchmark suite is $2,000 for non-members and $800 for qualified non-profit and not-for-profit organisations. Existing license holders receive a free upgrade.