Seminars & Colloquia

Juan Gómez Luna


"Understanding a Modern Processing-in-Memory Architecture: Benchmarking and Experimental Analysis"

Wednesday April 26, 2023 02:30 PM
Location: 3211, EB2 NCSU Centennial Campus
(Visitor parking instructions)

This talk is part of the System Research Seminar series


Abstract: Processing-in-memory (PIM) is becoming a reality which promises to overcome the data movement bottleneck (i.e., the waste of execution cycles and energy due to frequent movement of data between memory and compute units) by equipping compute systems with compute-capable memories. Several major vendors and startups have prototyped and announced their PIM architectures. Among them, the UPMEM company commercializes the first publicly-available real-world PIM architecture. This architecture combines traditional DRAM memory arrays with general-purpose in-order cores, called DRAM Processing Units (DPUs), integrated in the same chip. In this talk, we will provide an overview of the first comprehensive analysis of the first publicly-available real-world PIM architecture. We make two key contributions. First, we conduct an experimental characterization of the UPMEM-based PIM system using microbenchmarks to assess various architecture limits such as compute throughput and memory bandwidth, yielding new insights. Second, we present PrIM (Processing-In-Memory benchmarks), a benchmark suite of 16 workloads from different application domains (e.g., dense/sparse linear algebra, databases, data analytics, graph processing, neural networks, bioinformatics, image processing), which we identify as memory-bound. We evaluate the performance and scaling characteristics of PrIM benchmarks on the UPMEM PIM architecture, and compare their performance and energy consumption to their state-of-the-art CPU and GPU counterparts. Our extensive evaluation conducted on two real UPMEM-based PIM systems with 640 and 2,556 DPUs provides new insights about suitability of different workloads to the PIM system, programming recommendations for software designers, and suggestions and hints for hardware and architecture designers of future PIM systems.
Short Bio: Juan Gómez-Luna is a senior researcher and lecturer at SAFARI Research Group @ ETH Zürich. He received the BS and MS degrees in Telecommunication Engineering from the University of Sevilla, Spain, in 2001, and the PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of Córdoba, Spain, in 2012. Between 2005 and 2017, he was a faculty member of the University of Córdoba. His research interests focus on processing-in-memory, memory systems, heterogeneous computing, and hardware and software acceleration of medical imaging and bioinformatics. He is the lead author of PrIM (, the first publicly-available benchmark suite for a real-world processing-in-memory architecture, and Chai (, a benchmark suite for heterogeneous systems with CPU/GPU/FPGA.

Host: Xipeng Shen, CSC

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