The Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC) has released a benchmark suite aimed at applications processors and higher-performance microcontrollers that have floating-point units.
CoreMark-Pro follows on from the widely used CoreMark benchmark developed for 32bit microcontrollers, providing an expanded set of code routines to exercise different aspects of the processor design.
EEMBC founder and president Markus Levy said at Embedded World 2015: “The only things in common between CoreMark and CoreMark-Pro are the name and the methodology. Whereas CoreMark was one workload with four functions, here there are nine. And you have to run them separately because they are big.
“We looked for scenario-based benchmarks. And we wanted to make sure the benchmarks we were using have a variety of characteristics,” said Levy, noting that five of them are integer-based and the other four focusing more on floating-point code. The floating-point codes include a neural-network simulation, algorithms for fast Fourier transforms and linear algebra as well as an updated version of the Livermore Loops benchmark.
Improved benchmark code
“Back when it was first written, people didn’t know how to outsmart the compilers,” Levy said. The fixed nature of the original code made it possible to compute the results at compile and not iterate at runtime at all. “We fixed all that to make sure all the results need to be computed at runtime.”
The integer workloads include JPEG and ZIP compression, XML parsing and SHA256 hash functions as well as an updated form of the CoreMark benchmark with larger datasets and a CRC algorithm aimed at higher-performance processors. To allow for the evaluation of advanced superscalar processors, the benchmarks have significant instruction-level parallelism with the size of the lookahead window providing a level of variation.
Users can download and use the benchmark suite for free but processor and system vendors who are not EEMBC members need to pay for a $2500 license to promote their results.
By making the benchmark set part of the Android-focused AndEBench-Pro, EEMBC has been able to publish a number of scores for CoreMark-Pro already.