Media Applications on Hyper-Threading Technology
Yen-Kuang Chen Microprocessor Research, Intel Labs
Matthew Holliman Microprocessor Research, Intel Labs
Eric Debes Microprocessor Research, Intel Labs
Sergey Zheltov Microprocessor Research, Intel Labs
Alexander Knyazev Microprocessor Research, Intel Labs
Stanislav Bratanov Microprocessor Research, Intel Labs
Roman Belenov Microprocessor Research, Intel Labs
Ishmael Santos Software Solutions Group, Intel Corporation
Index Words: Hyper-Threading Technology, multithreading, multimedia, MPEG, performance analysis
Citation for this paper: Chen, Y-K.; Holliman, M.; Debes, E.; Zheltov, S.; Knyazev, A.; Bratanov, S.; Belenov, R.; Santos, I. "Media Applications on Hyper-Threading Technology." Intel Technology Journal. http://developer.intel.com/technology/itj/2002/volume06issue01/ (Feb 2002).
This paper characterizes selected workloads of multimedia applications on current superscalar architectures, and then it characterizes the same workloads on Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology. The workloads, including video encoding, decoding, and watermark detection, are optimized for the Intel® Pentium® 4 processor. One of the workloads is even commercially available and it performs best on the Pentium 4 processor. Nonetheless, due to the inherently sequential constitution of the algorithms, most of the modules in these well-optimized workloads cannot fully utilize all the execution units available in the microprocessor. Some of the modules are memory-bounded, while some are computation-bounded. Therefore, Hyper-Threading Technology is a promising architecture feature that allows more CPU resources to be used at a given moment.
Our goal, in this paper, is to better explain the performance improvements that are possible in multimedia applications using Hyper-Threading Technology. Our initial studies show that there are many unexplored issues in algorithms and applications for Hyper-Threading Technology. In particular, there are many techniques to develop better software for multithreading systems. We demonstrate different task partition/scheduling schemes and discuss their trade-offs so that a reader can understand how to develop efficient applications on processors with Hyper-Threading Technology.
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