OmniX - an accelerator-centric OS architecture for omni-programmable systems

Seminar | November 13 | 10-11 a.m. | Soda Hall, 510 Soda Hall

 Mark Silbertein, Israel Institute of Technology

 Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS)

Future systems will be omni-programmable: alongside CPUs, GPUs,
Security accelerators and FPGAs, they will execute user code
near-storage, near-network, and near-memory. Ironically, while
breaking power and memory walls via hardware specialization and near
data processing, emerging programmability wall will become a key
impediment for materializing the promised performance and power
efficiency benefits of omni-programmable systems. I argue that the
root cause of the programming complexity lies in todays CPU-centric
operating system (OS) design which is no longer appropriate for
omni-programmable systems.

In this talk I will describe the ongoing efforts in my lab to design
an accelerator-centric OS called OmniX [HotOS'17], which extends
standard OS abstractions into accelerators, while maintaining a
coherent view of the system among all the processors. In OmniX,
near-data and compute accelerators may directly invoke tasks and
access I/O services among themselves, excluding the CPU from the
performance-critical data and control plane operations, and turning it
into a "yet another" accelerator for sequential computations. I will
show how OmniX design principles have been successfully applied to
GPUs, Programmable NICs and Intel SGX.


Mark Silberstein is an Associate Professor at the EE department at the
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology where he is heading the
Accelerated Computing Systems Lab.
His research is centered around OSes for compute and I/O accelerator
architectures, which led to a series of publications in ISCA, ASPLOS,
OSDI, PACT, Eurosys and USENIX ATC, all of which strive to
systematically minimize or eliminate the dependence of accelerated
systems on the host CPU. He is working on practical ways to protect
against side channels, in particular Intel SGX, though he was more
successful at attacks at first and discovered the Foreshadow
speculative execution bug. He is a regular contributor to the SIGARCH


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