EEMBC Announces New Workgroup Developing Comprehensive Floating-Point Benchmark Suite

(PresseBox) ( El Dorado Hills, Calif., )
The Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC) today announced it is developing new benchmarks that will track the performance of embedded processors with floatingpoint hardware units, an increasingly popular chip feature for graphics, audio, motor control, and many other highend processing tasks.

Floating point (FP) refers to the ability of an embedded processor to crunch numbers that are too large or small to be represented as integers. Today, many embedded processors include hardware FP units (FPUs) to enable higher levels of precision. The new EEMBC benchmarks will allow users to evaluate FPU performance on the basis of consistent and controlled data, thus serving the needs of processor vendors, compiler vendors, and system developers alike.

Leaders of the EEMBC workgroup developing the new benchmarks are Brian Jeff of ARM and Ron Olson of IBM, whose companies are founding members of the EEMBC Board of Directors.

"At IBM, we are pleased that EEMBC benchmarks will finally enable us to discuss floatingpoint performance with customers for our embedded cores in a fair and consistent manner," Olson said. "The new benchmarks will likewise enable system developers to make their own unbiased evaluations and compare their own workloads to the specific benchmarks."

Examples of the realworld applications that the forthcoming FP suite will likely address include DSP filtering, audio encoding, video encoding, and PID motor control. The suite is also planned to include a series of generic kernels such as bicubic filtering and FFT, which are particularly revealing of FPU performance. The benchmarks will likewise measure the performance delta between single (32bit) and double (64bit) precision.

"We have seen the growing importance of floating point for our partners in their latest highend processing devices, and have been evolving our architecture to optimize the FP performance to meet this requirement," said Jeff. "Our goal in this new EEMBC workgroup is to create benchmarks that will expose and highlight the performance gains from innovations in FPU development in terms of real application performance, while helping our partners make the design tradeoff decision as to when to include an FPU in their designs."

EEMBC's FP working group is actively looking for additional participants to further define and elaborate the new FP benchmark suite. Participation is open to all EEMBC subcommittee and Board of Directors members. EEMBC also is seeking contributions of benchmark kernels from the embedded industry at large. For further information, please contact Markus Levy, EEMBC president (www.eembc.org).
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