Intellectual Merit: The objective of this BRIGE research project is to leverage current microprocessor design to support and meet the increasing demand on system performance/ throughput. The ever-increasing complexity of microprocessors makes it necessary to renovate the current technology. The project will explore the design space of many-core microprocessors, centered on reducing the operating system overhead and interference with user applications via hardware support. This project is expected to yield a more detailed understanding of the interactions between the hardware and system software that take part during the execution of applications. A transformative scheme is proposed to distribute the operating system services onto dedicated and specialized cores. The novelty of this research lies in an attempt to combine research fronts at different layers of the microarchitectural design into a unified framework, with specific focus on scalability, adaptivity, and improved fault handling. This project will advance the fundamental understanding of principles of designing such systems and introduce creative concepts and perspectives. These advantages will pave the way towards taking advantage of the computing power of future many-core systems.
Broader Impacts: This BRIGE project aims to tightly integrate the research with different levels of education to attract traditionally underrepresented ethnic and gender groups into the engineering and computing pipeline and to pursue a successful higher education. An associated broadening participation plan will support a number of mentoring and outreach activities for disseminating knowledge of the advancements in modern microprocessor design into high school and university classrooms. It will include an outreach to K-12 students and teachers and local community college in a predominantly underprivileged and social-economically impacted neighborhood of Miami, Florida, leveraging upon the existing university programs to attract underrepresented students to the discipline of engineering. Several undergraduate researchers selected from a diversified student body will be actively involved with the proposed research activities. The integration of experimental effort along with theoretical analysis will offer invaluable experiences to graduate and undergraduate researchers involved in the project. The educational component also includes development of a specific course on many-core architecture and its interaction with operating systems, integrated with the research program. The advances expected from this project will enable the design of next generation high-performance microprocessors that will impact the computing ability and performance of future personal computers and the public at large.