SC13 Home > SC13 Schedule > SC13 Presentation - Supercomputing with Commodity CPUs: Are Mobile SoCs Ready for HPC?

SCHEDULE: NOV 16-22, 2013

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Supercomputing with Commodity CPUs: Are Mobile SoCs Ready for HPC?

SESSION: System-wide Application Performance Assessments

EVENT TYPE: Papers, Awards, Best Student Paper Finalists

TIME: 3:30PM - 4:00PM

SESSION CHAIR: Dominik Ulmer

AUTHOR(S):Nikola Rajovic, Paul M. Carpenter, Isaac Gelado, Nikola Puzovic, Alex Ramirez, Mateo Valero


In the late 1990s, powerful economic forces led to the adoption of commodity desktop processors in high-performance computing. This transformation has been so effective that the June 2013 TOP500 list is still dominated by x86. In 2013, the largest commodity market in computing is not PCs or servers, but mobile computing, comprising smartphones and tablets, most of which are built with ARM-based SoCs. This leads to the suggestion that once mobile SoCs deliver sufficient performance, mobile SoCs can help reduce the cost of HPC. This paper addresses this question in detail. We analyze the trend in mobile SoC performance, comparing it with the similar trend in the 1990s. We also present our experience evaluating performance and efficiency of mobile SoCs, deploying a cluster and evaluating the network and scalability of production applications. In summary, we give a first answer as to whether mobile SoCs are ready for HPC.

Chair/Author Details:

Dominik Ulmer (Chair) - Cray Switzerland

Nikola Rajovic - Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Paul M. Carpenter - Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Isaac Gelado - Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Nikola Puzovic - Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Alex Ramirez - Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Mateo Valero - Barcelona Supercomputing Center

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The full paper can be found in the ACM Digital Library