Parallel Distributed Infrastructure for Minimization of Energy

A radically new ParaDIME...

The increasing power and energy consumption of modern computing devices is perhaps the largest threat to technology minimization and associated gains in performance and productivity. On the one hand, we expect technology scaling to face the problem of “dark silicon” (only segments of a chip can function concurrently due to power restrictions) in the near future and lead us to use devices with completely new characteristics. On the other hand, as core counts increase, the shared memory model based on cache coherence will severely limit scalability and increase energy consumption. Therefore, to overcome these problems, we need new computing paradigms that are radically more energy efficient. The objective of ParaDIME is to attack the power-wall problem by radical software-hardware techniques that are driven by future circuit and device characteristics on one side, and by a programming model based on message passing on the other side.

In the initial stages, ParaDIME will investigate and establish theoretical limits of energy savings at the device, circuit, architecture, runtime and programming model levels of the computing stack.  We will then explore circuit and architecture operation below safe voltage limits for drastic energy savings, specialized energy-aware computing accelerators, energy-aware runtime, as well as approximate computing and power-aware message passing. The outcome of the project will be a processor architecture for a heterogeneous distributed system that utilizes future device characteristics for dramatic energy savings as well as a quantification of the actual energy savings achieved by the ParaDIME approach.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement n° 318693.