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Stream Processors and their Applications for the Wireless Domain

Binu K. Mathew, Ali Ibrahim
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Abstract:

A stream is a sequence of similar data records with real-time throughput or bandwidth constraints attached to it. Examples include link-level encryption in networks, video trans-coding, video compression, cellular telephony as well as the image and speech pA stream is a sequence of similar data records with real-time throughput or bandwidth constraints attached to it. Examples include link-level encryption in networks, video trans-coding, video compression, cellular telephony as well as the image and speech processing. Stream programs consist of a data-flow network where the nodes called kernels represent simple algorithms that transform an input block to an output block with access to a limited amount of history. Stream processors are decoupled access/execute processors whose architecture has been optimized for the repeated application of stream computations to high bandwidth data-streams at very high levels of performance and energy efficiency.

Stream processors have been extensively studied in academia by projects such as Stanford Imagine and MIT RAW. They made their commercial debut with the Cell, a broadband processor from IBM that is the computing engine for the Sony PlayStation 3. The cellular telephony market has experienced rapid growth around the world and represents a significant opportunity for stream processors because this domain requires very high computation rates to reduce the bit error rate and to support high data rates, full motion video and multimedia applications, and a variety of wireless standards. Simultaneously, they must also be energy efficient and flexible, have a low time to market, and be low cost.

This article starts by providing an overview of the fundamental concepts behind stream processors, their applications to perception, media, wireless and scientific workloads, major research projects etc. It will elaborate on the nature of 3G and 4G wireless algorithms, architectural approaches to optimize these algorithms as well as commercial processors that have been optimized for the wireless domain.




next up previous contents
Next: 1 Introduction   Contents
Binu K. Mathew, Ali Ibrahim