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Adept project: investigating energy efficiency in parallel technologies

A consortium led by EPCC has announced the launch of the Adept project, which brings together international software and hardware experts from HPC and Embedded to address the challenge of energy efficient use of parallel technologies.

In addition to EPCC, the consortium comprises two world-leading universities, Uppsala and Ghent, as well as two representatives from industry, Alpha Data Parallel Systems Ltd and Ericsson AB. Adept is supported with €2.8m through the European Commission’sFramework 7 programme.

The challenge

Parallel computing is no longer limited to high-end scientific applications; it is increasingly becoming ubiquitous in all forms of software development, especially in the Embedded domain. In HPC, the race to reach the exascale by 2022 is steering research into new directions, one of which is energy efficiency.

“We will address the challenge of energy efficiency in parallel technologies by building on the expertise of HPC software developers in exploiting parallelism for performance, and Embedded Systems engineers in managing power consumption”. Dr Michèle Weiland, coordinator of the Adept project.

The objectives

Adept aims to further the understanding of the power usage of parallel software and hardware, and to develop a tool that enables the rapid exploration of power consumption and performance design space across a range of heterogeneous architectures.

“Over the last 15 years, one of our overriding research goals has been to produce new technologies and tools to help programmers understand and optimise their systems for better performance and power efficiency. This project brings us together with application experience from HPC and large-scale commercial Embedded computing, as well as some of the leading researchers in efficient performance modelling.

This is an ideal environment for taking our research results to a new level”. Professor Erik Hagersten, Uppsala University.

“The Adept project is a great opportunity for me and my research group to combine the interval model, which we developed here in Ghent, with the cache models developed in Uppsala, and build a powerful tool for software developers to explore hardware options in the Embedded and HPC space”. Professor Lieven Eeckhout, Ghent University, who is working on the modelling aspect of the project.

The view from industry

Alpha Data Parallel Systems Ltd, a leading global supplier of high-performance reconfigurable platforms, is one of the commercial partners in Adept.

“Adept will help bring power management for HPC down from the cluster level to the individual application level. Identifying the total lifetime cost of power hotspots in applications may justify the extra development costs of using lower power customisable hardware accelerators.

Alpha Data is pleased to be involved in this project, which could lead to new opportunities for the reconfigurable computing market". Dr Andrew McCormick, Design Engineer at Alpha Data, on why the project is important to the company.

Further information

Adept started on the 1st September 2013 and will run for 3 years.

Adept project website

Dr Michèle Weiland, Adept Project Coordinator

Katie Urquhart, Adept Administration and Dissemination Officer

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