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Embracing diversity in the Barrelfish manycore operating system

Adrian Schüpbach, Simon Peter, Andrew Baumann, Timothy Roscoe, Paul Barham, Tim Harris, and Rebecca Isaacs


We discuss diversity and heterogeneity in manycore computer systems, and identify three distinct types of diversity, all of which present challenges to operating system designers and application writers alike. We observe that most current research work has concentrated on a narrow form of one of these (non-uniform memory access) to the exclusion of the others, and show with measurement why this makes sense in the short term. However, we claim that this is not viable in the long term given current processor and system roadmaps, and present our approach to dealing with both heterogeneous hardware within a single system, and the increasing diversity of complete system configurations: we directly represent detailed system information in an expressive “system knowledge base” accessible to applications and OS subsystems alike, and use this to control tasks such as scheduling and resource allocation.


Publication typeInproceedings
Published inProceedings of the Workshop on Managed Many-Core Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc.
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