Tuesday Nov 11, 2008

It is all about the gifts

The same strategy that tamers use with dogs and speakers use to claim audience attention worked on me this morning. I was reading a blog entry called “Open Source Hardware - or - OpenSPARC as a platform for instruction" at Gery Serda's blog. It is a very interesting entry, he talks about OpenSPARC T1 and OpenSPARC T2 architectures, and the benefits for academic institutions to have now open source hardware too available.

Near to the finish he gives a link to OpenSPARC Internals e-book download, edited by David Weaver. It was the gift I was talking about.

Ok, I admit, I have an unusual love for e-books.

Books are one of the bests ideas ever. Pick a subject, choose some good authors, read cover to cover and you are now one of the specialists on the subject.  I see e-books as something that helps the democratization of knowledge.


Here are the highlights of the book:

  • How to customize and use OpenSPARC

  • How to start using OpenSPARC code

  • How to make basic changes including

    • configuring number of cores or threads

    • paring to a smaller size

    • fitting on an FPGA

    • adding extensions

  • How to set up

    • simulation environment

    • emulation environment

  • How to verify an OpenSPARC design


Here some professors quotes:

"The coverage is extremely broad and deep, from the basics of the OpenSPARC architecture, the rationale for throughput optimized microprocessor design, and the microarchitecture of the T1 and T2 implementations to a roadmap for using the T1 and T2 design database and design verification suites."
Kunle Olukotun, Stanford University
Professor, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Director, Pervasive Parallelism Lab

Monday Oct 27, 2008

I Workshop on OpenSPARC Architecture at USP, Brazil.

A three-day workshop ocurred on march 2008 ( 24th, 25th and 26th) at São Paulo, having openSPARC specification and FPGA implementation as main subjects. The workshop happened from 24th through 26th March and was hosted by the Grupo de Sistemas Pervasivos e de Alto Desempenho (Pervasive systems and high performance group - PAD) of the Laboratory of Integrated Systems (LSI) of the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo (EPUSP). This was the first of many events related to the openSPARC center of excellence program at USP.

The introduction had the special participation of Carlos Thomaz and Eduardo Lima from Sun and Prof. Sergio Kofuji, coordinator of the PAD group. In the first day morning, the presentations introduced the principles and concepts of the openSPARC community and Sun’s Throughput Initiative. It showed the history, aspects and design decisions of the architecture. In the afternoon T1 and T2 particular issues were defined. The next day was very interesting, with nice presentations and a practical laboratory over the FPGA modeling theme. In the last day, we talked mainly about multicore specific aspects. You can see the full schedule PAD group webpage.

Prof. Sergio Kofuji gave me the opportunity to perform a presentation about the CMT and CoolThreads technology in the first day. The speakers were Sergio Kofuji, Jussara Kofuji, Fernando Muzzi, Edson Horta, German Santos, Stelvio Barbosan, Antonio Amorim, Eduardo Lima, Carlos Thomaz and Marcelo Arbore.

As you can see, this was a great meeting that gave outstanding information about the technologies that is leading the next generation of hardware multicores. Polytechnic School have a great role in history of brazilian computers hardware development, proudly having produced the first Brazilian computer inside its campus, called Patinho Feio, in 1972. SUN is a company that was born at the StanfordUniversity. There is no doubt that these two giants in hardware development working together can result nothing less than amazing projects.

About

Hi, my name is Marcelo Arbore, I study electrical engineering at University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and I work for Sun Microsystems. I also like to surf, I love the sea and I will live in California some day. marcelo.arbore@sun.com

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