Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Scalable Specialization: Architectures, Interfaces, and Applications
The end of Dennard scaling and Moore’s law is driving transformational change in hardware, leading to a rise in specialized, domain-specific heterogeneous systems. There is an accompanying explosion of sophisticated applications deployed at the edge on diverse heterogeneous devices that interface directly with the end-user. Realizing the full potential of these trends will require new technologies for scalable specialization and a change in how we conduct systems research.
First, we must move from evaluating single application components to end-to-end systems, replacing conventional power-performance-area metrics with those that capture end-user perception. Second, end-to-end system design requires moving from a focus on single accelerators to heterogeneous parallel systems with simultaneously communicating diverse accelerators, requiring scalable and specializable accelerator communication interfaces. Third, effective programmability of such systems requires new hardware-software interfaces designed to represent parallelism, heterogeneity, and communication.
To illustrate the above shift, I will describe ILLIXR, the Illinois Extended Reality (XR) testbed, the first complete open-source XR system for enabling end-to-end systems research with a rich and demanding edge application domain; Spandex, a flexible and scalable accelerator communication interface that enables each accelerator to specialize for its coherence, consistency, and data movement requirements; and Heterogeneous Parallel Virtual Memory (HPVM), a virtual ISA and compiler IR designed from the ground up as a hardware-software interface for heterogeneous parallel systems. I will summarize how these technologies are enabling ongoing projects towards scalable specialization.
Sarita Adve is the Richard T. Cheng Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests span the system stack, ranging from hardware to applications. She co-developed the memory models for the C++ and Java programming languages based on her early work on data-race-free models, forming the foundation for memory models used in most hardware and software systems today. She is also known for her work on heterogeneous computing and software-driven approaches for hardware resiliency. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the ACM and IEEE, and a recipient of the ACM/IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy award, the Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision award in innovation, the ACM SIGARCH Maurice Wilkes award, and the University of Illinois campus award for excellence in graduate student mentoring. As ACM SIGARCH chair, she co-founded the CARES movement, winner of the CRA distinguished service award, to address discrimination and harassment in Computer Science research events. She received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.