Energy consumption's increasing importance in scientific computing has driven an interest in developing energy efficient high performance systems. Energy constraints of mobile computing has motivated the design and evolution of low-power computing systems capable of supporting a variety of compute-intensive user interfaces and applications. Others have observed the evolution of mobile devices to also provide high performance. Their work has primarily examined the performance and efficiency of compute-intensive scientific programs executed either on mobile systems or hybrids of mobile CPUs grafted into non-mobile (sometimes HPC) systems.
This report describes an investigation of performance and energy consumption of a single scientific code on five high performance and mobile systems with the objective of identifying the performance and energy efficiency implications of a variety of architectural features. The results of this pilot study suggest that ISA is less significant than other specific aspects of system architecture in achieving high performance at high efficiency. The strategy employed in this study may be extended to other scientific applications with a variety of memory access, computation, and communication properties.