The Adept project brought together experts from High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Embedded computing to develop a comprehensive suite of state-of-the-art tools that enable the evaluation and optimisation of a system's energy and power usage.
"This is a significant step forward in understanding where exactly in a parallel computing system energy is consumed. Giving both hardware and software developers access to this type of information allows them to make informed choices about new implementations, without guesswork", stated Dr. Michèle Weiland, Adept Project Coordinator.
"Alpha Data is pleased to have been part of Adept as it was a project that has brought energy efficiency in computing into the limelight. We contributed expertise in developing embedded FPGA and System-on-Chip hardware for multi-sensor systems to the project, developing a custom, robust and flexible data capture system for energy and power measurement as part of the project's multi-platform experimental verification and test lab. The approaches of optimising code to match hardware architecture or selecting hardware to best match code aligns with an increase in heterogeneity in computing systems to maximise performance per watt", stated Dr. Andrew McCormick, Director at Alpha Data Parallel Systems.
The Adept Tool Suite consists of three parts: a benchmark suite, power measurement infrastructure, and power and performance prediction tool. Both the benchmark suite and the designs for the power measurement infrastructure are publicly available and are open-source.
Adept Benchmark Suite consists of a range of tests, from single-instruction benchmarks all the way up to small applications. These are designed to characterise power and energy use on different systems under a variety of scenarios, in conjunction with external power measurement.
Adept Power Measurement Infrastructure is a hardware-based solution for measuring power in all aspects of a system over time. The fine-grained architecture is capable of taking one million samples per second from all components of a system.
Adept Power and Performance Prediction Tool brings together the software and hardware aspects of the project to predict how a given piece of software will perform on a given hardware configuration.
More detailed information on the Tool Suite, including a comprehensive set of publications, can be found on the project website.