Challenges towards Exascale Computing

Towards Scalable and Accurate Architectural Simulation of Multi/Many-Core System

Lieven Eeckhout (Ghent University)


Designing processors for the exascale era is a non-trivial design problem. The design space is huge and the constraints on performance, power, reliability and cost are tight, yet these processors need to be designed in a reasonable amount of time.
Current practice of detailed cycle-accurate processor simulation is not a scalable approach in the multicore and manycore era, simply because it is too slow and too complex.
After reviewing existing solutions for speeding up architectural simulation, this talk will argue for a novel architectural simulation paradigm, called interval simulation, which raises the level of abstraction through mechanistic, analytical performance modeling. By doing so, interval simulation reduces both development time and evaluation time, and makes for a useful simulation approach in the architect's toolbox for the exascale era.


Lieven Eeckhout is an Associate Professor at Ghent University, Belgium. His main research interests include computer architecture and the hardware/software interface in general, and performance modeling and analysis, simulation methodology, and workload characterization in particular.
He received two IEEE Micro Top Picks Awards in 2007 and 2010 for "most significant research publications of the year in computer architecture", and he recently wrote a synthesis lecture on "Computer Architecture Performance Evaluation Methods".
In 2010, he was honored as a Laureate of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, and he was awarded a prestigious Independent Starting Researcher grant from the European Research Council (ERC).
He graduated 8 PhD students, and currently supervises 3 postdoctoral researchers and 7 PhD students.
He participates in the ExaScience Lab, part of Intel Labs Europe, where he leads the effort on architectural simulation techniques for exascale systems.
He obtained his PhD degree from Ghent University in 2002.