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MIT Research News

January 6, 2020

Tool predicts how fast code will run on a chip

Machine-learning system should enable developers to improve computing efficiency in a range of applications.

Rob Matheson | MIT News Office

MIT researchers have invented a machine-learning tool that predicts how fast computer chips will execute code from various applications.

To get code to run as fast as possible, developers and compilers — programs that translate programming language into machine-readable code — typically use performance models that run the code through a simulation of given chip architectures.

Compilers use that information to automatically optimize code, and developers use it to tackle performance bottlenecks on the microprocessors that will run it. But performance models for machine code are handwritten by a relatively small group of experts and are not properly validated. As a consequence, the simulated performance measurements often deviate from real-life results.