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Single Chip Cloud Computer Programmers Guide

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The Single-chip Cloud Computer (the SCC) is a research chip created by Intel Labs to study many-core CPUs, their architectures, and the techniques used to program them. It has 24 dual-core tiles arranged in a 6x4 mesh. Each core is a P54C core and hence supports Intel architecture. For an overview of the SCC platform, refer to the SCC Platform Overview. The SCC platform is a circuit board that contains the SCC chip, memory, and a system interface.

The SCC usage model will evolve over time, but currently the SCC platform has two programming models. The first model called the OS model runs a version of opensource Linux on each core. You load your application on one or more cores. The second model is called baremetal; the cores do not have an operating system. Your application runs directly on the cores without any operating system support. At this stage in SCC’s lifetime, the OS model is the most mature. Section 2 The OS Model describes the OS model. Section 3 SCC Architecture and Performance Considerations defines some terminology used when configuring and programming the SCC. It also discusses some performance considerations. Key SCC features are a large address space and a large number of IA cores that support a message-passing programming paradigm.

A unique feature of the SCC is its ability to adjust the voltage and frequency of the tiles, both at startup and dynamically during operation. Refer to Section 5 Power Management. With the current usage model, you connect a PC called the Management Console PC (MCPC) to the system interface on the SCC platform. The MCPC runs some version of an opensource Linux. Intel does not recommend a particular distribution, but Section 4 the Management Console describes what Intel has used and tested internally.

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