Lieven Eeckhout awarded an ERC Starting Independent Researcher Grant


Contemporary microprocessors seek to improve performance through threadlevel parallelism by co-executing multiple threads on a single microprocessor chip. Projections suggest that future processors will feature multiple tens to hundreds of threads, hence called many-thread processors. Many-thread processors, however, lead to nondependable performance: co-executing threads affect each other’s performance in unpredictable ways because of resource sharing across threads. Failure to deliver dependable performance leads to missed deadlines, priority inversion, unbalanced parallel execution, etc., which will severely impact the usage model and the performance growth path for many important future and emerging application domains (e.g., media, medical, datacenter).

This project on Dependable Performance on Many-Thread Processors envisions that performance introspection using a cycle accounting architecture that tracks per-thread performance, will be the breakthrough to delivering dependable performance in future many-thread processors.

To this end, it will develop a hardware cycle accounting architecture that estimates single-thread progress during many-thread execution. The ability to track per-thread progress enables system software to deliver dependable performance by assigning hardware resources to threads depending on their relative progress. Through this cooperative hardware-software approach, this project addresses a fundamental problem in multi-threaded and multi/manycore processing. The project consists of funding for five years for three PhD students and one post-doctoral researcher.

Lieven Eeckhout is an Associate Professor at Ghent University, Belgium. His main research interests include computer architecture and the hardware/ software interface in general, and performance modeling and analysis, simulation methodology and workload characterization in particular. He received two IEEE Micro Top Picks Awards and recently wrote a synthesis lecture on “Computer Architecture Performance Evaluation Methods”. He has successfully graduated six PhD students and current supervises three post-doctoral researchers and eight PhD students. He also participates in the ExaScience Lab, part of Intel Labs Europe, focusing on architectural simulation techniques for exascale systems.

ERC Starting Grants

The European Research Council (ERC), through its ERC Starting Independent Researcher Grants, aims at supporting “up-and-coming research leaders who are about to establish or consolidate a proper research team and to start conducting independent research in Europe. The scheme targets promising researchers who have the proven potential of becoming independent research leaders. It will support the creation of excellent new research teams and will strengthen others that have been recently created.” ERC grants are considered the most competitive research grants in Europe.