This glossary goes with the article "Evaluating IBM BladeCenter QS21 hardware performance."
Glossary of terms
|BE0, BE1||Aliases for the two Cell/B.E. processors of the QS21.|
|BIF||The Cell/B.E. interface: A fully coherent protocol connecting the two Cell/B.E. processors of the QS21.|
|DCBB2||Dual Cell-based blade configuration number 2: A special deliverable for IBM Global Engineering Services (GES).|
|DDR2||Double data rate 2 is a technology for high speed memory.|
|DMA||Direct memory access is a technology to move data within a computer system without requiring services from the main processor.|
|EIB||The Element Interconnect Bus is the communication path for command and data between all processor elements and the on-chip memory and I/O controller of the Cell/B.E. processor.|
|HS Connector||A High-Speed 2x PCI-E 16x Connector supports only the DCBB2 blade deliverable.|
|HSDC||High speed daughter cards, such as the InfiniBand Daughter Card.|
|IBDC||InfiniBand Daughter Card.|
|IOIF||The non-coherent I/O interface protocol of the Cell/B.E. system that is suitable for I/O devices.|
|mc0, mc1||The memory controller interfacing the Southbridges and the attached DDR2 memory.|
|MFC||Memory flow controller: Component of the SPE that transfers data between the local store of the SPU and the XDR DRAM and providing synchronization services.|
|MIC||Memory interface controller: Provides the interface between the EIB bus and the XDR DRAM.|
|MPI||Message passing interface is a specification of a message passing library.|
|MTU||Maximum transmission unit: Specifies the maximum packet size in bytes that can be transmitted over a network without being fragmented.|
|n1/2||n1/2 is the message size where the throughput achieves half of its maximum value.|
|PCI-E||PCI Express: A computer expansion card interface standard introduced to replace PCI-X.|
|PCI-X||Peripheral Component Interconnect Extended: A computer expansion card interface standard introduced to replace PCI.|
|PPE||The PowerPC® Processor Element of the Cell/B.E. processor: A general purpose, dual-threaded 64-bit RISC® processor core.|
|rDMA||Remote direct memory access allows data to move directly from the memory of one computer into that of another without involving either one's processor.|
|SIMD||Single Instruction Multiple Data is a classic technique to implement data parallelism; that is, to execute the same operation concurrently on a set of data.|
|SPE1, ..., SPE8||The eight Synergistic Processor Elements constitute the computational core of the Cell/B.E. processors. Each SPE is a 128-bit RISC processor executing SIMD instructions. Its main units are the Synergistic Processing Unit (SPU), which contains the computational pipelines, and the memory flow controller (MFC), which implements the DMA operations.|
|SPU||Synergistic Processing Unit: Processor component of an SPE with two pipelines executing up to two instructions per cycle and an attached local store memory.|
|TLB||Translation lookaside buffer: Caches at the SPEs and PPEs that are used by the memory management hardware to improve the latency of virtual address translation.|
|XDR™||eXtreme Data Rate Dynamic Random Access Memory: High-performance memory from Rambus, Inc.|
- Refer to Analyzing Computer Systems Performance with Perl: PDQ by Neil Gunther (SpringerVerlag, 2005, pp. 92-93) for an explanation of the typical knee in the graphs represented in the section "Several SPEs concurrently accessing XDR DRAM".
- Read "The LINPACK Benchmark: Past, Present, and Future" to clear up any confusion and mystery surrounding the LINPACK benchmark and some of its variations.
- Look at the scheduling brochure Cell/B.E.-Opteron hybrid supercomputer at LANL, Roadrunner.
- Explore the Linux openfabrics.org Wiki for information about the Open MPI implementation of the Open Fabrics Enterprise Distribution (OFED).
- Check out NetPipe (a protocol independent performance tool that visually represents the network performance under a variety of conditions) and Netperf (a benchmark that can be used to measure the performance of many different types of networking, including testing for both unidirectional throughput and end-to-end latency).
- Find out more about best practices for Cell/B.E. development in the IBM Redbook™ draft "Programming the Cell Broadband Engine Examples and Best Practices" (IBM Redbooks, February 2008).
- Get answers to Cell/B.E. SDK 3.0 installation questions in the original installation document, "Installation Guide for the SDK for Multicore Acceleration v3.0."
- Read "Introduction to the Cell Multiprocessor" (IBM Journal of Research and Development, 2005) for an introductory overview of the Cell/B.E. multiprocessor's history, the program objectives and challenges, the design concept, the architecture and programming models, and the implementation. Also of interest from early Cell/B.E. Architecture efforts is "Cell Broadband Engine Architecture and its first implementation" (developerWorks, November 2005).
- Find the "Cell/B.E. SDK 3.0 tools: Using performance tools" tutorial series (developerWorks, April 2008) for a tour of six performance tools for use with the Cell/B.E. SDK 3.0 and for Cell/B.E. system performance best practices.
- To learn more on Cell/B.E. programming, try the developerWorks series:
- Refer to the Cell Broadband Engine documentation section of the IBM Semiconductor Solutions Technical Library for a wealth of downloadable manuals, specifications, and more.
- Sign up for the developerWorks newsletter and get the latest developer news and Cell/B.E. happenings delivered to your inbox each week. Check Power Architecture® when you sign up to receive Cell/B.E. news in your newsletter.
- The Cell Broadband Engine/Power Architecture notebook is a blog-based resource that hosts news, as well as two instructional features -- the "Forum watch" of interesting questions and hot topics from the forum and the "Infobomb" series (short, precise, task-specific, quick-read knowledge bombs gleaned from Cell/B.E. documentation).
Get products and technologies
- See that SPEC CPU2000 is the next-generation industry-standardized CPU-intensive benchmark suite designed to provide a comparative measure of compute-intensive performance across the widest practical range of hardware. The implementation of these source code benchmarks was developed from real user applications, and they measure the performance of the processor, memory, and compiler on the tested system.
- Check out the alphaWorks Interactive Ray Tracer for Cell Broadband Engine, which is a proof-of-technology visual demonstration of the graphics power of the Cell Broadband Engine for realistic real-time animation on the Playstation 3 or QS21 platforms.
- Get your copy of the IBM SDK for Multicore Acceleration 3.0 or browse through the library of Cell/B.E. documentation.
- Find all Cell/B.E.-related articles, discussion forums, downloads, and more at the IBM developerWorks Cell Broadband Engine resource center: your definitive resource for all things Cell/B.E.
- Contact IBM about custom Cell/B.E.-based or custom-processor based solutions.
- Participate in the discussion forum.
- Check out the Cell Broadband Engine Architecture forum to get your technical questions about the processor answered.
- Check out the Cell Broadband Engine Architecture forum to get your technical questions about the processor answered. Juicy problems and answers from the forums are rounded up periodically and highlighted in the "Forum watch" blog series.
- Go to the Power Architecture blog for news, downloads, instructional resources, and event notifications for Cell/B.E. and other Power Architecture-related technologies. You can find the popular "Forum watch" blog series (Q&A roundup), the "FixIt" technology updates, and the Infobomb quick-read technology introductions.
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