Reflex: Using low-power processors in smartphones without knowing them

Felix Xiaozhu Lin, Zhen Wang, Robert Likamwa, Lin Zhong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

To accomplish frequent, simple tasks with high efficiency, it is necessary to leverage low-power, microcontroller-like processors that are increasingly available on mobile systems. However, existing solutions require developers to directly program the low-power processors and carefully manage inter-processor communication. We present Reflex, a suite of compiler and runtime techniques that significantly lower the barrier for developers to leverage such low-power processors. The heart of Reflex is a software Distributed Shared Memory (DSM) that enables shared memory objects with release consistency among code running on loosely coupled processors. In order to achieve high energy efficiency without sacrificing performance much, the Reflex DSM leverages (i) extreme architectural asymmetry between low-power processors and powerful central processors, (ii) aggressive compile-time optimization, and (iii) a minimalist runtime that supports efficient message passing and event-driven execution. We report a complete realization of Reflex that runs on a TI OMAP4430-based development platform as well as on a custom tri-processor mobile platform. Using smartphone sensing applications reported in recent literature, we show that Reflex supports a programming style very close to contemporary smartphone programming. Compared to message passing, the Reflex DSM greatly reduces efforts in programming heterogeneous smartphones, eliminating up to 38% of the source lines of application code. Compared to running the same applications on existing smartphones, Reflex reduces the average system power consumption by up to 81%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASPLOS XVII - 17th International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems
Pages13-24
Number of pages12
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 28 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event17th International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, ASPLOS 2012 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Mar 3 2012Mar 7 2012

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems - ASPLOS

Other

Other17th International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, ASPLOS 2012
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period3/3/123/7/12

Keywords

  • distributed shared memory
  • energy-efficiency
  • heterogeneous systems
  • mobile systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture

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  • Cite this

    Lin, F. X., Wang, Z., Likamwa, R., & Zhong, L. (2012). Reflex: Using low-power processors in smartphones without knowing them. In ASPLOS XVII - 17th International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (pp. 13-24). (International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems - ASPLOS). https://doi.org/10.1145/2150976.2150979