IEEE Computer Architecture Letters

IEEE Computer Architecture Letters (CAL) is a semi-annual forum for fast publication of new, high-quality ideas in the form of short, critically refereed, technical papers. Submissions are welcomed on any topic in computer architecture.

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From the July-December 2016 issue

Efficient Execution of Bursty Applications

By Milad Hashemi, Debbie Marr, Doug Carmean, and Yale N. Patt

Featured article thumbnail imageThe performance of user-facing applications is critical to client platforms. Many of these applications are event-driven and exhibit “bursty” behavior: the application is generally idle but generates bursts of activity in response to human interaction. We study one example of a bursty application, web-browsers, and produce two important insights: (1) Activity bursts contain false parallelism, bringing many cores out of a deep sleep to inefficiently render a single webpage, and (2) these bursts are highly compute driven, and thus scale nearly linearly with frequency. We show average performance gains/energy reductions of 14%/17% respectively on real hardware by statically moving threads from multiple cores to a single core. We then propose dynamic hardware driven thread migration and scheduling enhancements that detect these bursts, leading to further benefits.

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Editorials and Announcements


  • We are pleased to announce that Daniel Sorin, the W.H. Gardner Jr. Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA, has been named the new Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Computer Architecture Letters starting in 2017.


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