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Manycore simulation for peta-scale system design: Motivation, tools, challenges and prospects

Zarrin, J. ; Aguiar, R. ; Barraca, JPB

Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory Vol. 72, Nº 0, pp. 168 - 201, March, 2017.

ISSN (print): 1569-190X
ISSN (online):

Journal Impact Factor: 0,586 (in 2008)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1016/j.simpat.2016.12.014

The architecture design of peta-scale computing systems is complex and presents lots of difficulties to designs, as current tools lack support for relevant features of future scenarios. Novel systems must be designed with great care and tools, such as manycore architecture simulators, must be adapted accordingly. However, current simulation tools are very slow, often specific-purpose-oriented, suffer from various issues and are rarely able to simulate thousands of cores. The emergence of peta-scale systems and the upcoming manycore era brings nevertheless new challenges to computing systems and architectures, adding further difficulties and requirements on the development of the corresponding simulators. Furthermore, the design of architecture simulators for manycore systems involve methods and techniques from various interdisciplinary research areas, which in turn brings more challenges in different aspects. As system complexity grows, the growth of the simulation capacity is being outpaced (reaching the so called simulation wall). In this paper, we present the challenges for simulating future large scale manycore environments, and we investigate the adequacy of current modeling and simulation tools, methodologies and techniques. The aim of this work is to highlight how current approaches can best deal with the identified problems, smoothing the challenges of research in future peta-scale systems.