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SPEC releases new Chauffeur Worklet Development Kit

New WDK simplifies workload development for researchers analyzing computer system performance and energy efficiency

GAINSVILLE, Va., May 26, 2015 – The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) has released a new version of its Chauffeur Worklet Development Kit (WDK) that simplifies workload development for researchers analyzing computer system performance and power consumption.

Chauffeur WDK 1.1.0 provides built-in functions that are commonly required by most workloads, including hardware and software configuration, run-time, data collection, result validation, and reporting. This speeds development time by enabling researchers to concentrate on specific areas of performance and power consumption within a targeted application or hardware platform.

Supporting research efforts

Researchers can use Chauffeur WDK 1.1.0 to create new workloads (called "worklets" in Chauffeur) that mimic application behavior or focus on a particular aspect of computer performance or energy use. This makes it a valuable tool for developing and assessing new computer technologies.

SPEC hosts an on-line forum that enables worklet developers in academia and industry to share ideas, ask questions of the Chauffeur developers, offer suggestions and report issues.

"Our intention is to support the creation of a broad, inclusive ecosystem comprising academia and industry, driving international initiatives for improving computer performance and energy efficiency," says Klaus-Dieter Lange, SPECpower chair.

Chauffeur WDK features include:

  • statistical analysis of power measurement data collected by SPEC's PTDaemon software
  • automated hardware and software discovery
  • enhanced detection of correct current and voltage ranges
  • automatic tuning for the latest generation of platforms
  • wide platform (hardware and OS) support.

Better GPGPU evaluation

Students and researchers at the University of Wuerzburg have used the Chauffeur WDK to develop worklets that evaluate energy efficiency of GPGPUs (general-purpose computing on graphics processing units) and other accelerators.

"Energy efficiency of accelerators has historically been evaluated only at maximum device load," says Samuel Kounev, a professor of computer science at the university. "With the help of worklets we've developed using Chauffeur WDK we can now evaluate energy efficiency of accelerators at any target load level, gaining insight into power scaling and energy proportionality."

Cooperative development

The SPECpower committee that develops Chauffeur WDK includes representatives from AMD, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle and the University of Wuerzburg. Veteran SPEC benchmark developers Greg Darnell and Karl Huppler are supporting contributors.

Available immediately

The new Chauffeur WDK 1.1.0 is available for download on the SPEC website for $50.

About SPEC

SPEC is a non-profit organization that establishes, maintains and endorses standardized benchmarks and tools to evaluate performance for the newest generation of computing systems. Its membership comprises more than 100 leading computer hardware and software vendors, educational institutions, research organizations, and government agencies worldwide.

Media contact: Bob Cramblitt
Cramblitt & Company