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SPEC/HPG developing new benchmark to evaluate systems with floating-point accelerator

SEATTLE, Wash., November 14, 2011 — SPEC's High-Performance Group (SPEC/HPG) announced today that it is working on a new benchmark for evaluating computer systems with a floating-point accelerator. SPEC/HPG is regarded as the industry leader in providing standardized benchmarks for comparing high-performance computing systems.

"Systems with a floating-point accelerator, such as a general-purpose GPU or other kind of co-processor, are becoming much more prevalent in the high-performance computing arena," says Kalyan Kumaran, SPEC/HPG chair. "We believe a new benchmark that enables vendors, researchers and users to test and compare these systems will be welcomed by the HPC community."

Jump-starting the effort

Initial candidates for the benchmark suite include Parboil from the IMPACT Research Group of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Rodinia from the University of Virginia. The subcommittee will conduct a search program to identify additional candidates.

"The Parboil benchmarks embody more than three years of algorithm, programming and optimization research and education in GPU computing," says Prof. Wen-mei W. Hwu, director of the IMPACT Research Group. "We are proud to offer these benchmarks to help jump-start the SPEC accelerator effort."

"A major asset"

SPEC's benchmark is expected to support multiple programming models and will come with run and reporting rules that allow fair comparisons of systems, a traditional strong point of all SPEC benchmarks.

"A standardized benchmark for evaluating computer systems with a floating-point accelerator will be a major asset to us when acquiring new systems and assessing existing ones," says Dieter an Mey, HPC team leader for the Center for Computing and Communication at RWTH Aachen University. "We welcome SPEC's expertise in this area."

Current members of the subcommittee comprise a cross-section of industry and academia, including AMD, Argonne National Laboratory, Fujitsu, IBM, Indiana University, Intel, Oracle, PGI, QLogic, SGI, Technical University of Dresden, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Virginia.

Talk to SPEC/HPG at SC11

SC11 attendees in Seattle can discuss the accelerator benchmark and other performance-related topics at the SPEC/HPG Birds of a Feather session, November 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Room TC LL1 of the Washington State Convention Center.

Want to participate?

Organizations or individuals interested in helping develop this benchmark can contact the SPEC office: phone: +1.703.579.8460; fax: +1.703.579.8463; e-mail:; web:

About SPEC

The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC, is a non-profit organization that establishes, maintains and endorses standardized benchmarks to evaluate performance for the newest generation of computing systems. Its membership comprises more than 70 leading computer hardware and software vendors, educational institutions, research organizations, and government agencies worldwide.

Media contact: Bob Cramblitt
Cramblitt & Company

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