Generalize or die: Operating systems support for memristor-based accelerators

Pedro Bruel, Sai Rahul Chalamalasetti, Chris Dalton, Izzat El Hajj, Alfredo Goldman, Catherine Graves, Wen Mei Hwu, Phil Laplante, Dejan Milojicic, Geoffrey Ndu, John Paul Strachan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The deceleration of transistor feature size scaling has motivated growing adoption of specialized accelerators implemented as GPUs, FPGAS, ASICs, and more recently new types of computing such as neuromorphic, bio-inspired, ultra low energy, reversible, stochastic, optical, quantum, combinations, and others unforeseen. There is a tension between specialization and generalization, with the current state trending to master slave models where accelerators (slaves) are instructed by a general purpose system (master) running an Operating System (OS). Traditionally, an OS is a layer between hardware and applications and its primary function is to manage hardware resources and provide a common abstraction to applications. Does this function, however, apply to new types of computing paradigms? This paper revisits OS functionality for memristor-based accelerators. We explore one accelerator implementation, the Dot Product Engine (DPE), for a select pattern of applications in machine learning, imaging, and scientific computing and a small set of use cases. We explore typical OS functionality, such as reconfiguration, partitioning, security, virtualization, and programming. We also explore new types of functionality, such as precision and trustworthiness of reconfiguration. We claim that making an accelerator, such as the DPE, more general will result in broader adoption and better utilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 IEEE International Conference on Rebooting Computing, ICRC 2017 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages1-8
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781538615539
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 28 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event2017 IEEE International Conference on Rebooting Computing, ICRC 2017 - Washington, United States
Duration: Nov 8 2017Nov 9 2017

Publication series

Name2017 IEEE International Conference on Rebooting Computing, ICRC 2017 - Proceedings
Volume2017-January

Other

Other2017 IEEE International Conference on Rebooting Computing, ICRC 2017
CountryUnited States
CityWashington
Period11/8/1711/9/17

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Software

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  • Cite this

    Bruel, P., Chalamalasetti, S. R., Dalton, C., Hajj, I. E., Goldman, A., Graves, C., Hwu, W. M., Laplante, P., Milojicic, D., Ndu, G., & Strachan, J. P. (2017). Generalize or die: Operating systems support for memristor-based accelerators. In 2017 IEEE International Conference on Rebooting Computing, ICRC 2017 - Proceedings (pp. 1-8). (2017 IEEE International Conference on Rebooting Computing, ICRC 2017 - Proceedings; Vol. 2017-January). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICRC.2017.8123649