[Beowulf] Cell programming

Tim Wilcox twilcox at terrasoftsolutions.com
Tue Mar 20 09:03:01 PDT 2007

I have been coding on the Cell for just over a month now.  Nothing serious, 
just getting subroutines to run on a single SPU.  This turns out to be very 
easy.  Now I am looking at parallel programming between the SPUs and this 
seems much more difficult.  The API, as far as I have read it, does not have 
nice routines for message passing between the SPUs, you have to set up your 
own memory transfers or address remote memory directly using the MFC.

Running independent codes on each SPU is pretty easy but only addresses the 
class of ideally parallel problems.  I would like to encourage a discussion 
on techniques of how to split and parallelize a problem with 
this "dual-layer" parallel architecture(MPI and MFC).  

It seems to me a good starting point is to divide a problem, say a CFD, into 
larger sections at the MPI layer and then a smaller division of the subset on 
the individual Cell processor.  This poses the issue of message passing 
between disparate SPUs.  Any input on the characteristics of how this may 
work and perform?

Tim Wilcox
Terra Soft Solutions

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