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OpenMP Accelerator -- CIM and OpenMP


Convolution C code example, with OpenMP
style pragma highlighted in yellow

Matrix multiply C code example, with OpenMP style pragma
highlighted in yellow

Section of arbitrary C code marked for offloading to the CIM array

Separate compute intensive sections of C code, marked
for parallel execution (pragmas highlighted in yellow)

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Overview

CIM technology software supports three (3) basic modes of acceleration In the first mode the CIM array functions as an "OpenMP accelerator". The basic concept of
OpenMP is to use well-defined "markers", or directives at the source code level (programmer level) to inform the code build process which sections of source code should be accelerated, and in what manner. Using CIM OpenMP Syntax, the following types of code sections can be marked:

The main advantage of the OpenMP model is that it does not require a code rewrite. Compute intensive sections can be accelerated by marking them, not actually changing source code content. A secondary advantage is that it fits Texas Instruments multicore CPUs particularly well.

Another advantage is that a "group of tasks", or related sections of code, can be moved (or "offloaded") to the CIM array. For example, an FFT, followed by frequency domain operations, followed by an inverse FFT, followed by time domain processing to reduce the data rate, could be handled by the CIM array, with data transfer occurring only at the start and end of the task group. This type of "algorithm based" processing is not readily supported by CUDA and the OpenCL standard, which in this example would use a series of function calls or APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), which in turn would need more frequent data transfers.

CIM Software Build Process

Here is a brief overview of the CIM software build process:

When the host program runs, it downloads and initializes CIM array executable files. This is done transparently to the host program's user. This is a key point -- from the user's perspective, his/her program looks, feels, and runs as it did before -- except faster.

Another key point is that CIM acceleration can easily be enabled/disabled at run-time, without any program changes. If for any reason the CIM array is not present in the server then programs still function and run normally -- just slower.

CIM at Run-Time

Multicore Hardware Supported

Several types of multicore hardware are supported for CIM acceleration, including: