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Journal Articles IEEE Access Year : 2019

Towards Energy-Efficient Heterogeneous Multicore Architectures for Edge Computing

Abdoulaye Gamatié
Guillaume Devic
Gilles Sassatelli
Philippe Naudin
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In recent years, the edge computing paradigm has been attracting much attention in the Internet-of-Things domain. It aims to push the frontier of computing applications, data, and services away from the usually centralized cloud servers, to the boundary of the network. The benefits of this paradigm shift include better reactivity and reliability, reduced data transfer costs towards the centralized cloud servers, and enhanced confidentiality. The design of energy-efficient edge compute nodes requires, among others, low power cores such as microprocessors. Heterogeneous architectures are key solutions to address the crucial energy-efficiency demand in modern systems. They combine various processors providing attractive power and performance trade-offs. Unfortunately, no standard heterogeneous microcontroller-based architecture exists for edge computing. This paper deals with the aforementioned issue by exploring typical low power architectures for edge computing. Various heterogeneous multicore designs are developed and prototyped on FPGA for unbiased evaluation. These designs rely on cost-effective and inherently ultra-low power cores commercialized by Cortus SA, a world-leading semiconductor IP company in the embedded ultra-low-power microcontroller domain. Some microarchitecture-level design considerations, e.g. floating point and out-of-order computing capabilities, are taken into account for exploring candidate solutions. In addition, a tailored and flexible multi-task programming model is defined for the proposed architecture paradigm. We analyze the behavior of various application programs on available core configurations. This provides valuable insights on the best architecture setups that match program characteristics, so as to enable increased energy-efficiency. Our experiments on multi-benchmark programs show that on average 22% energy gain can be achieved (up to 45%) compared to a reference system design, i.e., a system with the same execution architecture, but agnostic of the task management insights gained from the comprehensive evaluation carried out in this work.
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Dates and versions

lirmm-02099306 , version 1 (15-04-2019)



Abdoulaye Gamatié, Guillaume Devic, Gilles Sassatelli, Stefano Bernabovi, Philippe Naudin, et al.. Towards Energy-Efficient Heterogeneous Multicore Architectures for Edge Computing. IEEE Access, 2019, 7, pp.49474-49491. ⟨10.1109/ACCESS.2019.2910932⟩. ⟨lirmm-02099306⟩
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