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Nexus#: a distributed hardware task manager for task-based programming models

Dallou, Tamer; Engelhardt, Nina; Elhossini, Ahmed; Juurlink, Ben

FG Architektur eingebetteter Systeme

In the era of multicore systems, it is expected that the number of cores that can be integrated on a single chip will be 3-digit. The key to utilize such a huge computational power is to extract the very fine parallelism in the user program. This is non-trivial for the average programmer, and becomes very hard as the number of potential parallel instances increases. Task-based programming models such as OmpSs are promising, since they handle the detection of dependencies and synchronization for the programmer. However, state-of-the-art research shows that task management is not cheap, and introduces a significant overhead that limits the scalability of OmpSs. Nexus# is a hardware accelerator for the OmpSs runtime system, which dynamically monitors dependencies between tasks. It is fully synthesizable in VHDL, and has a distributed task graph model to achieve the best scalability. Supporting tasks with arbitrary number of parameters and any dependency pattern, Nexus# achieves better performance than Nanos, the official OmpSs runtime system, and scales well for the H264dec benchmark with very fine grained tasks, among other benchmarks from the Starbench suite.