96Boards is most obviously a hardware specification and website providing support and access to software downloads. The software is, to a certain extent, taken for granted, but it is the software that differentiates 96Boards from many other development boards. This session will start with a brief introduction to the 96Boards Software Reference Platform and then invite discussion about how to improve the platform and what should and shouldn’t be a part of the platform across the range of boards.
11:45 – ScaleMark: Understanding Performance Results for Servers in the Data Center
Speaker: Markus Levy, EEMBC President and CEO
Abstract; Workloads for the Cloud and associated data centers are putting unique demands on the SoCs and other system-level hardware that are being integrated into these scale-out servers. Traditional benchmarks, such as EEMBC® CoreMark®, SPECInt® 2006 and SPECFP® 2006, and others, address the compute complexity of different workloads and the suitability of processors for different tasks. However, when looking at the system level (which is required for comprehending the performance of servers in data centers), many factors contribute to the performance of the system as a whole – memory, disks, operating system, network interfaces, network stack, and more. In addition, the manner in which workloads are generated can significantly affect the results. In this session, using a case study from Cavium’s ARM based Thunder X system and the EEMBC ScaleMark (a cloud and server benchmark suite), results will be presented that demonstrate how subtle variations in the test environment can obfuscate benchmark results and how a properly designed benchmark suite can overcome these obstacles