The ADEPT project addressed the challenge of energy-efficient use of parallel technologies.

ADEPT built on the expertise of software developers from high-performance computing (HPC) to exploit parallelism for performance, and on the expertise of embedded systems engineers in managing energy usage. The project developed a tool to guide software developers and help them to model and predict the power consumption and performance of parallel software and hardware.

The strength of the HPC world lies primarily in software application parallelisation: concurrent computation is used to speed up the overall time an application requires run to completion. As a result, HPC software developers are also experts in parallel performance analysis and performance optimisation. The embedded systems sector excels in managing energy usage because it is often constrained by fixed power and energy budgets. The strengths of one sector are the relative weakness of the other: power management and power efficiency in HPC are in their infancy, but they are becoming increasingly important with HPC systems requiring more and more power; and while continuing to be constrained by energy and power budgets, recent advances in low-power multi-core processors have widened the choice of hardware architectures for embedded systems and are increasingly forcing embedded programmers to use parallel computing techniques that are more familiar to HPC programmers.

ADEPT investigated the implications of parallelism in programming models and algorithms, as well as choice of hardware, on energy and power consumption. It is important to gain a clear understanding of how factors such as redundant computations or algorithmic choices affect the power profile of a parallel application, or how this profile can be modified in a predictable way by off-loading compute-intensive parts of an application to low-power hardware. ADEPT progressed the state-of-the-art in application profiling, performance, and energy usage modelling in order to build a tool that integrates performance and energy consumption modelling for parallel embedded and HPC systems.

ADEPT advanced knowledge of how parallel software and hardware use power. Being able to reduce the amount of power that is required to run large-scale applications on a HPC system will have a significant impact on the total cost of ownership and on the carbon footprint of such a system. ADEPT also increased programmer productivity by creating a tool able to rapidly predict both the performance and the power usage of parallel systems, greatly reducing the need for speculative implementations to answer "what if?" questions during the software development process. This will enable developers to make informed decisions about hardware and software implementation that are economically viable in terms of performance and cost.

Further information

ADEPT ran for three years from 1st September 2013. The project was coordinated by EPCC. The project partners were Uppsala University (Sweden), Alpha Data (UK), Ericsson AB (Sweden) and Ghent University (Belgium).

The ADEPT project was partially funded by the 7th Framework Programme of European Commission under Grant Agreement 610490.

EPCC blog posts about ADEPT