LONDON – Toshiba Corp. has presented details of a power-optimized operating system (OS) for embedded multicore applications, including automotive products and digital consumer products.
Toshiba claimed that in one benchmarking exercise the OS running on a Toshiba many-core processor achieved a 24.6 percent power reduction against a "standard OS" running a program that scaled images. Details of the new OS were presented at the Design, Automation & Test in Europe conference held in Grenoble, France March 18 to 22.
Toshiba's many-core processor OS achieves low power consumption by using information inherent to parallel programs to control power supply. Parallel programs are run by a thread unit, and to run correctly the order for executing the threads must be specified.
Toshiba has developed and employed a technique for specifying the number of dependences among threads and controlling the execution order. This approach recognizes that the dependency number at any given time closely foreshadows the computation load in the near future, securing a more accurate prediction of power requirements. The new OS controls power supply and achieves a low-power system without degradation in performance.
Toshiba plans to apply the software to embedded systems for such applications as high-resolution image processing and image recognition.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.