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GNU Cauldron 2012, Prague, talk5

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Published on Jul 19, 2012

Identifying compiler options to minimize energy consumption by embedded programs

Presenter: Jeremy Bennett During this summer, Embecosm will be running a joint project with Bristol University Department of Computer Science to look at the impact of compiler options on energy consumption by programs on embedded processors. Many people have opinions on this, but it transpires there is very little hard data. Bristol University's equipment can measure the power consumed by a processor in great detail and to fine time resolution. We will test a representative range of programs (suggestions will be solicited from the audience) with a wide range of compiler options. We will use a number of different processors (XMOS, ARM) as well as different processors in the same family (ARM). We will also compare GCC to LLVM. The results will be published in an open access journal to provide a baseline data set for future research. One channel we wish to pursue subsequently is use of MILEPOST technology to automatically select the best low energy options when compiling programs. The project, starting on 9 July, will be led by Jeremy Bennett (Embecosm) and Simon Hollis (Bristol University), with the work carried out by James Pallister of Embecosm, who will then return to Bristol University for a 3-year PhD in this field. The purpose of this talk is to solicit views from the wider GCC community at the start of this project, particularly with regard to the features of GCC that are most likely to yield benefits and should thus be explored. We look forward to presenting the results at next year's meeting.

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