With the data handled by companies and research institutes getting larger and larger every day, there is a clear need for faster computing. At the same time, we have reached the limit of power consumption and more power efficient computing is also called for, both in the datacenter and in the supercomputer room. For that, there is a great push, both in industry and academia, towards increasing the amount of computing power per watt consumed.
With this shift towards a different computing paradigm, many older ideas are looked upon in a new light. One of these is the distributed shared memory (DSM) systems. It is becoming harder and harder to achieve higher performance and better power efficiency at the same form factor as we have always had. Furthermore, while we have seen a stop in the constant increase of processor speeds, there is a constant increase in network communication speeds. Software implemented DSM is again a viable solution for high performance computing, without the need for sacrificing ease of programming for performance gains.
The goal of this course was to develop such a system, and learn in the process. We chose to work with the Adapteva Parallella boards and design a DSM system there. Over one semester we designed and developed that system.
Available as PDF (1.29 MB, no cover)
Download BibTeX entry.