A “Best Paper” on Big Data Signal Processing (Intel Labs@SC12)

It was just announced at the awards session at SC12 that Intel has won “best paper” for research into more efficient processing for a fundamental calculation in high performance computing, entitled “A Framework for Low-Communication 1-D FFT.”

Numerous wave applications (e.g. sound, radio) rely on the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) including signal processing, communications, and multi-media. However, it is a very challenging problem to parallelize effectively. This is because for big FFT datasets running on large clusters, 50%-90% of time can be spent waiting on node-node data transfers rather than useful calculation.

Intel’s Software and Services Group & Intel Labs devised a new framework for distributed 1-D FFT problems which traditionally require three costly all-to-all inter-node data exchanges. The new approach delivers multiple 1D FFT algorithms requiring just a single all-to-all inter-node data exchange. According to the research, for large-scale problems this can double FFT performance (see the paper for details). Another key feature is that users can opt to further increase FFT performance by accepting reduced-accuracy results, so the algorithms scale to fit the needs of the particular application.


Sean Koehl

About Sean Koehl

Sean Koehl is a Vision Strategist for Intel Labs, the global research arm of Intel Corporation. He is responsible for crafting visions of how Intel R&D efforts could impact daily life in the future. He leverages insights from Intel’s technologists, social scientists, futurists, and business strategists to articulate how technology innovations and new user experiences could improve lives and society. Sean received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Purdue University and launched his career at Intel in 1998. He has worn many hats in his career including those of an engineer, evangelist, writer, creative director, spokesperson, and strategist. He has led a variety of projects and events, authored numerous technology publications and blogs, and holds seven patents. He is based at Intel’s headquarters in Santa Clara, California.

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