Efficiently Exploiting Low-Activity Factors to Accelerate RTL Simulation

Speaker: Scott Beamer , UC Santa Cruz

Date: Monday, November 30, 2020

Time: 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM Note: all times are in the Eastern Time Zone

Public: Yes

Location: https://mit.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUrdOqopj8uHdO4gUyVMnfglOFEqIye_Je0 (Registration required, if you haven't registered for this series before)

Event Type: Seminar

Room Description:

Host: Julian Shun, MIT CSAIL

Contact: Julian Shun, jshun@mit.edu, lindalynch@csail.mit.edu

Relevant URL: http://fast-code.csail.mit.edu/

Speaker URL: https://scottbeamer.net/

Speaker Photo:

Reminders to: seminars@csail.mit.edu, fast-code-seminar@lists.csail.mit.edu, pl@csail.mit.edu, commit@lists.csail.mit.edu

Reminder Subject: TALK: Efficiently Exploiting Low-Activity Factors to Accelerate RTL Simulation

Simulation is a critical tool for hardware design but its current slow speed often bottlenecks the whole design process. Simulation speed becomes even more crucial for agile and open-source hardware design methodologies, because the designers not only want to iterate on designs quicker, but they may also have less resources with which to simulate them.

Although most signals in a digital design rarely change (low activity factors), most leading simulators still simulate the entirety of the design every cycle. Tracking which signals are unchanged and can thus be reused typically introduces too much overhead to deliver a practical speedup.

In this work, we explore the challenge of efficiently detecting opportunities for reuse, and we demonstrate streamlined techniques to profitably exploit them. Our approach is powered by a novel acyclic graph partitioner which allows us to automate the generation of high-performance simulators. We present ESSENT, a cycle-accurate simulator generator which outperforms both open-source and industrial state-of-the-art simulators on multiple designs. We also use hardware performance counters to investigate how this workload and our optimizations can impact processor frontend bottlenecks.

Scott Beamer is an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His research interests include open-source hardware design, high-performance graph processing, and computer architecture. He received the Kaivalya Dixit Distinguished Dissertation Award from SPEC as well as best paper awards from the International Parallel & Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS) and the International Symposium on Workload Characterization (IISWC). He has a PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and was formerly a postdoctoral scholar at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR ATTENDEES: If you have already registered for the Fast Code Seminars on Zoom since July 27, 2020, please use the Zoom link that you have received. This link will stay the same for subsequent Fast Code seminars this semester. Zoom does not recognize a second registration, and will not send out the link a second time. If you have any problems with registration, please contact jshun@mit.edu and lindalynch@csail.mit.edu by 1:30pm on the day of the seminar, so that we can try to resolve it before the seminar begins.

Research Areas:
Computer Architecture

Impact Areas:
Big Data

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Created by Julian J. Shun Email at Friday, November 20, 2020 at 10:57 AM.