Low-Cost Sub-5W Processors for Edge HPC
Paper in proceedings, 2017
Increasing user demands for timely and complex analysis of large amounts of collected data in the IoT era are pushing the computing servers from the cloud to the Edge where the energy budgets are much tighter. Building a HPC for the Edge is thus a considerable challenge. In terms of processors, we are observing a trend of making traditional high-performance processors more energy-efficient. On the other end of the spectrum we are observing the development of higher performance versions of low-power mobile processors. In this work we consider using commodity sub-5W processorsas a building block for a Edge HPC cluster. We consider the processors in mobile phones, tablets, and low-end laptops. We evaluate the energy-to-solution and energy efficiency of different commodity sub-5W processors against a regular 100 Watt processor using HPC applications. We observed that commodity sub-5W processors, which have been designed for a totally different purpose, can actually deliver an average reduction of 70% of energy-to-solution for the ten HPC applications tested. These results are very encouraging for the use of simple low-cost sub-5W processors as building blocks for Edge HPC systems.