Document Type



Computer Science

Journal Title

Network and Parallel Computing

Pub Date




First Page



To meet the needs of high performance computing, the Cell Broadband Engine owns many features that differ from traditional processors, such as the large number of synergistic processor elements, large register files, the ability to hide main-storage latency with concurrent computation and DMA transfers. The exploitation of those features requires the programmer to carefully tailor programs and simutaneously deal with various performance factors, including locality, load balance, communication overhead, and multi-level parallelism. These factors, unfortunately, are dependent on each other; an optimization that enhances one factor may degrade another. This paper presents our experience on optimizing LU decomposition, one of the commonly used algebra kernels in scientific computing, on Cell Broadband Engine. The optimizations exploit task-level, data-level, and communication-level parallelism. We study the effects of different task distribution strategies, prefetch, and software cache, and explore the tradeoff among different performance factors, stressing the interactions between different optimizations. This work offers some insights in the optimizations on heterogenous multi-core processors, including the selection of programming models, considerations in task distribution, and the holistic perspective required in optimizations.