Our work on CPU-free computing has been accepted at the 19th Workshop on Hot Topics in Operating Systems (HotOS’23), 2023, https://sigops.org/s/conferences/hotos/2023/. This is work in initial stages which has been under development and discussion for a while. We are excited to present this work and seek feedback from the systems community. This work is done in collaboration with researchers from University of Rome, Tor Vergata.
Conference program: https://sigops.org/s/conferences/hotos/2023/program.html
Title: CPU-free Computing: A Vision with a Blueprint
Authors: Animesh Trivedi (VU Amsterdam) and Marco Spaziani Brunella (Hyperable)
Abstract: Since the inception of computing, we have been reliant on CPU-powered architectures. However, today this reliance is challenged by manufacturing limitations (CMOS scaling), performance expectations (stalled clocks, Turing tax), and security concerns (microarchitectural attacks). To re-imagine our computing architecture, in this work, we take a more radical, but pragmatic approach and propose to eliminate the CPU with its design baggage from data center computing. We integrate three primary pillars of computing, i.e., networking, storage, and computing, into a single, self-hosting, unified CPU-free Data Processing Unit (DPU) called Hyperion. The elimination of the CPU from computing necessitates re-thinking our computing, networking, and storage abstractions, and tackle the associated challenges which we sketch in this paper. We share the blueprint of our work-in-progress, Hyperion’s hardware and software stack, and seek feedback.
Acknowledgment: This work is supported by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) grants OCENW.XS3.030 and OCENW.KLEIN.561, and Xilinx University Donation Program.