Advancing Applications Toward Exascale Target

By Tiffany Trader

February 11, 2014

Exascale computers will employ tens of thousands of many-core nodes, leaving programmers with the challenging task of developing applications that can leverage tens of millions of threads. Over at the Cray blog, Dr. Jason Beech-Brandt, Manager Exascale Research for Cray Europe, writes about how the supercomputer maker is helping lay the groundwork for exascale applications through a collaborative effort known as CRESTA.

In order for exascale applications to be productive, all the supporting layers also need to be optimized: from the operating and runtime systems, through the communication and scientific libraries to the compilers and toolsets. The need for such an ecosystem led Cray to establish the Cray Research Initiative Europe back in 2009. As part of that endeavor, Cray is working with key high performance computing (HPC) centers and software and tools developers across Europe under the banner of CRESTA (Collaborative Research into Exascale Systemware).

“Co-design is at the project’s core,” explains Beech-Brandt, “real application requirements driving systemware developments and research, which then feed back into the applications in an ongoing, virtuous cycle.”

With funding from the European Union, CRESTA has selected six applications for exascale-focused development. The applications were chosen by CRESTA HPC center partners and represent a broad range of domains, including CFD, numerical weather prediction, biomolecular systems, fusion energy, and physiological flows.

The CRESTA team is exploring new programming models, such as PGAS languages and OpenACC, as well as enhanced libraries, e.g., FFTs and sparse matrix operations. Another technique is to introduce fault tolerance both in the applications and in the communication libraries. The team is also experimenting with improved compilers, workflow, and diagnostic tools, such as DDT and Vampir from partners Allinea and TU Dresden, which help developers address the bottlenecks that limit the progress from petascale and exascale.

The project relies on large Cray supercomputers installed at CRESTA partner sites in Europe the United States, including the 20-petaflop (peak) Cray XK7 Titan supercomputer, located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Access is enabled by the U.S. Department of Energy INCITE program, and three of CRESTA’s partner co-design applications have leveraged the INCITE program.

The Cray rep cites several examples of how customers can benefit from CRESTA. The European Center for Medium range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF), for example, uses the Integrated Forecast System (IFS) model to provide medium-range weather forecasts to its 34 European member states. The global grid size for simulations, currently based on a 16 km resolution, is expected to be refined down to a 2.5 km global weather forecast model by 2030, when employed on an exascale system. This means IFS needs to run efficiently on a thousand times more cores. Advances achieved by CRESTA have enabled IFS to harness 200,000 CPU cores on Titan. This is the most cores ever used for a weather model and it marks the first use of the 5 km resolution model that will be needed in medium range forecasts in 2023.

The breakthrough was enabled by new programming models, which eliminated a performance bottleneck. More specifically, the Cray Compiler Environment (CCE) used nested Fortran coarrays within OpenMP, which allowed communication time to be absorbed into existing calculations.

Cray reports other successes in the field of CFD too, with CRESTA researchers using the OpenACC programming model to extend the existing Nek5000 code to exploit accelerators. Adding only one OpenACC directive per thousand lines of Fortran code has already enabled a Nek5000 test case to be scaled across more than 16,000 GPU nodes of Titan, with an almost threefold increase in performance compared to just using the CPUs.

CRESTA is also helping to boost the performance of Gromacs, a classical molecular dynamics package for simulating the behavior of millions of particles. The work involves using a hybrid approach (CPUs and GPUs) to understand the mechanism of membrane fusion in viruses.

The Cray rep notes that the R&D undertaken by CRESTA has led to improvements in the Cray Compiler Environment (CCE), something Cray users everywhere can benefit from.

In CRESTA’s last year, Beech-Brandt  says to “expect more big improvements in applications, systemware, and tools.” When the program ends, Cray’s work on the exascale front will continue with projects like EPiGRAM.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Nvidia Touts Strong Results on Financial Services Inference Benchmark

February 3, 2023

The next-gen Hopper family may be on its way, but that isn’t stopping Nvidia’s popular A100 GPU from leading another benchmark on its way out. This time, it’s the STAC-ML inference benchmark, produced by the Securi Read more…

Quantum Computing Firm Rigetti Faces Delisting

February 3, 2023

Quantum computing companies are seeing their market caps crumble as investors patiently await out the winner-take-all approach to technology development. Quantum computing firms such as Rigetti Computing, IonQ and D-Wave went public through mergers with blank-check companies in the last two years, with valuations at the time of well over $1 billion. Now the market capitalization of these companies are less than half... Read more…

US and India Strengthen HPC, Quantum Ties Amid Tech Tension with China

February 2, 2023

Last May, the United States and India announced the “Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology” (iCET), aimed at expanding the countries’ partnerships in strategic technologies and defense industries across th Read more…

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Enables Transparent Medicare Outcome AI

February 2, 2023

Medical applications of AI are replete with promise, but stymied by opacity: with lives on the line, concerns over AI models’ often-inscrutable reasoning – and as a result, possible biases embedded in those models Read more…

Europe’s LUMI Supercomputer Has Officially Been Accepted

February 1, 2023

“LUMI is officially here!” proclaimed the headline of a blog post written by Pekka Manninen, director of science and technology for CSC, Finland’s state-owned IT center. The EuroHPC-organized supercomputer’s most Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Shutterstock 2069893598

Cost-effective and accurate genomics analysis with Sentieon on AWS

This blog post was contributed by Don Freed, Senior Bioinformatics Scientist, and Brendan Gallagher, Head of Business Development at Sentieon; and Olivia Choudhury, PhD, Senior Partner Solutions Architect, Sujaya Srinivasan, Genomics Solutions Architect, and Aniket Deshpande, Senior Specialist, HPC HCLS at AWS. Read more…

Microsoft/NVIDIA Solution Channel

Shutterstock 1453953692

Microsoft and NVIDIA Experts Talk AI Infrastructure

As AI emerges as a crucial tool in so many sectors, it’s clear that the need for optimized AI infrastructure is growing. Going beyond just GPU-based clusters, cloud infrastructure that provides low-latency, high-bandwidth interconnects and high-performance storage can help organizations handle AI workloads more efficiently and produce faster results. Read more…

Intel’s Gaudi3 AI Chip Survives Axe, Successor May Combine with GPUs

February 1, 2023

Intel's paring projects and products amid financial struggles, but AI products are taking on a major role as the company tweaks its chip roadmap to account for more computing specifically targeted at artificial intellige Read more…

Quantum Computing Firm Rigetti Faces Delisting

February 3, 2023

Quantum computing companies are seeing their market caps crumble as investors patiently await out the winner-take-all approach to technology development. Quantum computing firms such as Rigetti Computing, IonQ and D-Wave went public through mergers with blank-check companies in the last two years, with valuations at the time of well over $1 billion. Now the market capitalization of these companies are less than half... Read more…

US and India Strengthen HPC, Quantum Ties Amid Tech Tension with China

February 2, 2023

Last May, the United States and India announced the “Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology” (iCET), aimed at expanding the countries’ partnership Read more…

Intel’s Gaudi3 AI Chip Survives Axe, Successor May Combine with GPUs

February 1, 2023

Intel's paring projects and products amid financial struggles, but AI products are taking on a major role as the company tweaks its chip roadmap to account for Read more…

Roadmap for Building a US National AI Research Resource Released

January 31, 2023

Last week the National AI Research Resource (NAIRR) Task Force released its final report and roadmap for building a national AI infrastructure to include comput Read more…

PFAS Regulations, 3M Exit to Impact Two-Phase Cooling in HPC

January 27, 2023

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), known as “forever chemicals,” pose a number of health risks to humans, with more suspected but not yet confirmed Read more…

Multiverse, Pasqal, and Crédit Agricole Tout Progress Using Quantum Computing in FS

January 26, 2023

Europe-based quantum computing pioneers Multiverse Computing and Pasqal, and global bank Crédit Agricole CIB today announced successful conclusion of a 1.5-yea Read more…

Critics Don’t Want Politicians Deciding the Future of Semiconductors

January 26, 2023

The future of the semiconductor industry was partially being decided last week by a mix of politicians, policy hawks and chip industry executives jockeying for Read more…

Riken Plans ‘Virtual Fugaku’ on AWS

January 26, 2023

The development of a national flagship supercomputer aimed at exascale computing continues to be a heated competition, especially in the United States, the Euro Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

SC22 Booth Videos

AMD @ SC22
Altair @ SC22
AWS @ SC22
Ayar Labs @ SC22
CoolIT @ SC22
Cornelis Networks @ SC22
DDN @ SC22
Dell Technologies @ SC22
HPE @ SC22
Intel @ SC22
Intelligent Light @ SC22
Lancium @ SC22
Lenovo @ SC22
Microsoft and NVIDIA @ SC22
One Stop Systems @ SC22
Penguin Solutions @ SC22
QCT @ SC22
Supermicro @ SC22
Tuxera @ SC22
Tyan Computer @ SC22
  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire