Accelerators for Technical Computing: Is It Worth the Pain? A TCO Perspective

  • Sandra Wienke
  • Dieter an Mey
  • Matthias S. Müller
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7905)


Nowadays, HPC systems emerge in a great variety including commodity processors with attached accelerators which promise to improve the performance per watt ratio. These heterogeneous architectures often get far more complex to employ. Therefore, a hardware purchase decision should not only take capital expenses and operational costs such as power consumption into account, but also manpower. In this work, we take a look at the total cost of ownership (TCO) that includes costs for administration and programming effort. From that, we compute the costs per program run which can be used as a comparison metric for a purchase decision. In a case study, we evaluate our approach on two real-world simulation applications on Intel Xeon architectures, NVIDIA GPUs and Intel Xeon Phis by using different programming models: OpenCL, OpenACC, OpenMP and Intel’s Language Extensions for Offload.


TCO heterogeneous architectures GPU Intel Xeon Phi programming effort OpenCL OpenACC OpenMP Intel LEO energy efficiency 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Wienke
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dieter an Mey
    • 1
    • 2
  • Matthias S. Müller
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Computing and CommunicationRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.JARA – High-Performance ComputingAachenGermany

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