Comparing Intra- and Inter-Processor Parallelism on Multi-Core CellBE Processors for Scientific Simulations

K.A. Hawick, A. Leist, D.P. Playne, and M.J. Johnson (New Zealand)


Cell BE processor; multi-core; SPE; PS3; cluster.


The Cell Broadband Engine (Cell BE) multi-core processor from the STI consortium of Sony, Toshiba and IBM is a powerful but complex processing device that has attracted much attention since its inclusion in Sony PlayStation (PS3) gaming consoles. We report on some performance experiments using the multi-core Synergistic Processing Elements (SPE) concurrency capabilities of this chip. We compare performance and software implementation issues with conventional cluster computing techniques such as message-passing, in exploiting clusters of Cell BE processors for scientiļ¬c simulations. We discuss performance and user programming issues for some hybrid solutions on clustered PS3 computers running Linux.

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