Rice ECE helps launch Embench 1.0 Benchmark Suite for IoT Class

Embench provides an excellent industry-standard, open-source set of benchmarks that enable users to make complex design decisions


ECE Professor in the Practice, Ray Simar, has successfully helped launch Embench 1.0 - the first full release of Embench’s free and open-source benchmark suite for IoT class devices.

The benchmark suite, comprising 19 real programs, has proved popular across industry and academia since the pre-release version 0.5 was made available in February 2020. Rice University was honored to be one of the first academic institutions to utilize and provide feedback on the new suite. The suite provides an industry-standard, open-source set of benchmarks that enable users to make complex design decisions.

Championed by David Patterson (Google and UC Berkley) and Jeremy Bennett, Rice ECE helped define a new branch of the Embench benchmark suite, focusing on Digital Signal Processing (DSP). Led by Prof. Ray Simar, several Rice students began developing some of the key benchmarks used by DSP engineers last fall. Many of the students were able to earn college credit during this opportunity, working on Embench as part of the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) course at Rice under Simar. Prof. Ray Simar will continue to provide feedback on Embench in the coming year as his VIP course will focus on putting together a benchmark flow to run the DSP benchmarks on different hardware platforms.

“It is an excellent opportunity for the students at Rice, and myself, to be involved in the formation of the Embench effort.  Embench has the promise of transforming how the semiconductor industry benchmarks embedded microprocessors”, Simar said of his work.

He continued, “We are coming in on the ground floor of this revolutionary project. Without a doubt, Embench will have a positive, transformative, and lasting impact on the benchmarking of embedded microprocessors. Industry and academia have struggled to address this need in the past. This time, working together, we will succeed.”

The Embench project intends to make new releases every two years to ensure the benchmark suite stays relevant and up to date. The project is developed by an open group, with contributors from companies and universities worldwide. The code is available under a free and open source license on GitHub github.com/embench/embench-iot.