Effectiveness of SPEC CPU2006 and multimedia applications on Intel's single, dual and quad core processors




John, Binu P.

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In the past few years, the design of general-purpose computers has been evolving consistently and many such computers, including PCs, now contain microprocessors with more than one processing core; along with this there is a tremendous increase in the diversity of applications that are being run on these computers with general purpose processors. For example, applications such as video conferencing, video-on-demand, high-resolution games with high quality graphics and sounds etc. are used progressively more on personal computers and laptops. As new computer designs and new applications are developed, it becomes necessary to analyze how these new designs and programs interact with each other.

Processor speedup has been achieved by increasing clock speeds and, more recently, adding multiple processing cores to the same chip, as clock rates approached their theoretical limits. However, adding more hardware does not necessarily translate into better performance. This is due to the fact that, by increasing the number of cores on a single chip, challenges arise with memory and cache coherence as well as communication between the cores, additionally unless computer programmers learn to write parallel applications, the full benefit and efficiency of multi-core processors will not be attained.

The main objectives of this thesis are- firstly, to find out how effectively the programs in the SPEC CPU2006 Benchmark suite and Multimedia applications utilize the hardware features of state of the art processors; secondly to identify the processor components that affect performance adversely.

In this thesis characterization has been made on the overall execution behavior of SPEC CPU2006 and Multimedia workloads using Intel Pentium IV, Intel core2 duo, Intel core2 Quad core micro architecture, which includes the micro architectural components such as CPI, branch predictors, instruction mix, cache hierarchy, execution units and their impact on the system efficiency. It was observed that except CPI, SPEC CPU2006 has shown performance improvement in multi-core processors whereas the multimedia applications have shown improvement in all the performance metrics such as CPI, branch prediction rate and Cache performance.


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Asyncronous Multiprocessing, Distributed Memory Model, Multi-Core, Performance, Shared Memory Model, SPEC CPU2006



Electrical and Computer Engineering