SC21 Proceedings

The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis

CAKE: Matrix Multiplication Using Constant-Bandwidth Blocks

Authors: H.T. Kung, Vikas Natesh, and Andrew Sabot (Harvard University)

Abstract: We offer a novel approach to matrix-matrix multiplication computation on computing platforms with memory hierarchies. Constant-bandwidth (CB) blocks improve computation throughput for architectures limited by external memory bandwidth. Configuring the shape and size of CB blocks operating from within any memory hierarchy level (e.g., internal SRAM), we achieve high throughput while holding external bandwidth (e.g., with DRAM) constant. We explain how, surprisingly, CB blocks can maintain constant external bandwidth as computation throughput increases. Analogous to partitioning a cake into pieces, we dub our CB-partitioned system CAKE.

We show CAKE outperforms state-of-the-art libraries in computation time on real-world systems where external bandwidth represents a bottleneck, demonstrating CAKE's ability to address the memory wall. CAKE achieves superior performance by directly using theoretically optimal CB-partitioned blocks in tiling and scheduling, obviating the need for extensive design search.

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