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TMCNet:  SPEC/HPG Benchmark Suite Measures Performance of Computing Systems With Hardware Acceleration

[March 18, 2014]

SPEC/HPG Benchmark Suite Measures Performance of Computing Systems With Hardware Acceleration

(Marketwire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) GAINESVILLE, VA -- (Marketwired) -- 03/18/14 -- SPEC's High-Performance Group (SPEC/HPG) has released SPEC ACCEL V1.0, a new benchmark suite that measures the performance of systems using hardware accelerator devices and supporting software.

SPEC ACCEL tests performance with a suite of computationally intensive parallel applications running under the OpenCL and OpenACC APIs (application programming interfaces). SPEC/HPG expects to extend the suite in the future to include applications running under the OpenMP API.

Valuable asset to HPC community Vendors are able to use SPEC ACCEL to improve performance of systems that include accelerator devices. Users can employ the suite to make buying and configuration decisions. A wide range of SPEC ACCEL results are expected to be available on the SPEC website.

"We believe that this type of standardized benchmark based on real-world, computationally intensive parallel applications will be a valuable asset to a wide range of organizations in the high-performance computing community," says Kalyan Kumaran, SPEC/HPG chair.

SPEC ACCEL V1.0 comprises 19 application benchmarks running under OpenCL and 15 under OpenACC. The OpenCL suite is derived from the well-respected Parboil benchmark from the IMPACT Research Group of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Rodinia benchmark from the University of Virginia. The OpenACC suite includes tests from NAS Parallel Benchmarks (NPB), SPEC OMP2012, and others derived from high-performance computing (HPC) applications.

SPEC ACCEL exercises the performance of the accelerator, host CPU, memory transfer between host and accelerator, support libraries and drivers, and compilers. Performance results are recorded as the geometric mean of normalized ratios from testing with base and/or peak tuning. Energy consumption is measured in the same manner.

Yardstick for hybrid system performance "Effective benchmarks are essential to the ecosystem for any API, so we are pleased to see SPEC ACCEL offering standardized measurement of performance and energy consumption across the range of heterogeneous platforms that OpenCL supports," says Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and chair of the OpenCL working group.

"SPEC ACCEL delivers a yardstick with which to evaluate hybrid system performance across the broad choice of platforms and compilers supported by OpenACC," says Duncan Poole, OpenACC president. "It is a welcome resource for manufacturers and systems integrators wishing to leverage the OpenACC environment." Available immediately SPEC ACCEL V1.0 is available for immediate download on the SPEC website. The benchmark suite is $2,000 for non-members and $800 for qualified non-profit and not-for-profit organizations. For more information, visit http://www.spec.org/accel/.

About SPEC/HPG SPEC/HPG is regarded as the industry leader in providing standardized benchmarks for comparing high-performance computing systems. Active SPEC/HPG members are AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, Oracle and SGI. Non-profit associate members include Argonne National Laboratory, Indiana University, University of Houston, RWTH Aachen University, Technische Universität Dresden, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and University of Virginia. SPEC/HPG operates under the umbrella of SPEC, a non-profit organization that establishes, maintains and endorses standardized benchmarks and tools to evaluate performance for the newest generation of computing systems.

Company, organization, product and service names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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