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Glossary

Domain specific accelerator

What is a domain specific accelerator?

A domain-specific accelerator (DSA) is a specialized hardware component or subsystem designed to accelerate certain types of computations or workloads within a specific domain or application.

Unlike general-purpose processors or CPUs, which are designed to handle a wide range of tasks, DSAs are optimized to provide high-performance and/or energy-efficient processing for a particular set of applications or algorithms.

DSAs can take different forms, including particular hardware blocks tightly coupled to a general-purpose processor, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), graphics processing units (GPUs), or application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). These accelerators often feature specialized hardware components, such as parallel processing units, functional units, or optimized memory hierarchies, tailored to perform efficiently for the specific workload or algorithm they are designed for.

Why do we need domain specific accelerators?

The goal of using a domain-specific accelerator is to achieve higher performance, lower power consumption, and improved efficiency compared to general-purpose processors. By offloading specific computations to a DSA, applications can benefit from hardware acceleration and achieve significant speedup and/or energy efficiency gains.

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