Mellanox, IBM, ORNL Spearhead UCX Framework Initiative

By John Russell

July 13, 2015

Interconnect technology specialist Mellanox announced at ISC today a collaboration to develop a new open-source network communication framework – United Communication X Framework (UCX) – for high- performance and data-centric applications.

The effort is intended to provide platform abstractions supporting various communication technologies for “high performance compute, and data platforms” and will help pave the way towards exascale computing. UCX founding members include DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, NVIDIA, IBM, the University of Tennessee the group, and NVIDIA.

UCX organizers say the initiative will spur collaboration between industry, laboratories, and academia; create open-source production grade communication framework for data centric and HPC applications; and enable the highest performance through co-design of software-hardware interfaces. The key UCX components include:

  • UC-S for Services. Basic infrastructure for component based programming, memory management, and useful system utilities. Functionality: platform abstractions and data structures.
  • UC-T for Transport. Low-level API that expose basic network operations supported by underlying hardware. Functionality: work request setup and instantiation of operations.
  • UC-P for Protocols. High-level API uses UCT framework to construct protocols commonly found in applications Functionality: multi-rail, device selection, pending queue, rendezvous, tag-matching, software-atomics, etc.

Co-design methodology at the heart of the effort will help advance efforts to develop a path to exascale computing. UCX alliance members hope the effort will not only provide a vehicle for production quality software, but also a low-level research infrastructure for more flexible and portable support for exascale-ready programming models. See diagram below for an overview.

UCX diagram 2015-07-13“By providing our advancements in shared memory, MPI and underlying network transport technologies, we can continue to advance open standards-based networking and programming models” said Gilad Shainer. “UCX will provide optimizations for lower software overhead in communication paths that will allow cross platform near native-level interconnect performance. The framework interface will expose semantics that target not only HPC programming models, but data-centric applications as well. It will also enable vendor independent development of the library.”

UCX will serve as a high-performance, low latency communication layer and according to UCX organizers, assist in helping to provide applications developers with productive, extreme-scale programming languages and libraries, including Partitioned Global Address Space (PGAS) APIs, such as Fortran Coarrays and OpenSHMEM, as well as OpenMP across multiple memory domains and on heterogeneous nodes.

What UCX is not, insists the group, is a device driver; it is instead a close-to-hardware API layer, providing an access to hardware’s capabilities, and will rely on drivers supplied by vendors. IBM indicated its intention to incorporate UCX work in its CORAL projects for DOE suggesting that among other things, the new effort is also an attempt to further extend the OpenPOWER ecosystem.

“UCX is clearly a strategic open-source communication framework for future high- performance systems,” said Jim Sexton, IBM Fellow and Director of Data Centric Systems, in official press release accompanying the announcement. “We are eager to collaborate on UCX with our key OpenPOWER and university partners. In particular, IBM is contributing key innovations from our PAMI high-performance messaging software already in use in several Top10 supercomputing systems.”

For NVIDIA, UCX could ease efforts to incorporate accelerators generally. “UCX is intended to make it faster and easier to add Tesla Accelerated Computing Platform technologies, including GPUDirect RDMA and the NVLink high-speed interconnect, to the HPC communications stack,” said Duncan Poole, director of Platform Alliances at NVIDIA. “We look forward to working with the UCX members to bring   new levels of high performance computing solutions to HPC.” UCX would make it easier in general for system makers to incorporate NVIDIA GPUs.

The effort has been in the works for about a year according to Pavel Shamis, software developer at ORNL and a spokesman at the press conference. He noted ORNL work on OpenSHMEM, the communication library (C and Fortran PGAS programming model, point-to-point and collective routines, synchronizations, and atomic operations) prompted ORNL considerations on how best to expand use of OpenSHMEM and create industry support.

Traditionally there have been three popular mainstream communication frameworks to support various interconnect technologies and programming languages: MXM, developed by Mellanox Technologies; PAMI, developed by IBM; and UCCS, developed by ORNL, the University of Houston, and the University of Tennessee. UCX will unify the strengths and capabilities of each of these communication libraries and optimize them into one unified communication framework that delivers essential building blocks for the development of a high-performance communication ecosystem.

The UCX collaboration will be guided by a High-Performance Computing Leadership Team that includes: Dr. Arthur Bernard Maccabe, Division Director, Computer Science and Mathematics Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Donald Becker, Tesla System Architect, NVIDIA; Dr. George Bosilca, Research Director at the Innovative Computing Laboratory, University of Tennessee; Richard Graham, Senior Solutions Architect, Mellanox Technologies; Dr. Sameer Kumar, Research Scientist, Deep Computing and High Performance Computing systems, IBM India Research Lab; Stephen Poole , CTO, Open Software System Solutions; Shainer from Mellanox Technologies; and Dr. Sameh Sharkawi, Team Lead, Parallel Environment MPI Middleware at IBM.

The UCX project at ORNL is funded by the United States Department of Defense and uses resources of the Extreme Scale Systems Center located at ORNL. This project is being developed using resources of the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility at ORNL, which is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725.

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!

With New Owner and New Roadmap, an Independent Omni-Path Is Staging a Comeback

July 23, 2021

Put on a shelf by Intel in 2019, Omni-Path faced a uncertain future, but under new custodian Cornelis Networks, OmniPath is looking to make a comeback as an independent high-performance interconnect solution. A "significant refresh" – called Omni-Path Express – is coming later this year according to the company. Cornelis Networks formed last September as a spinout of Intel's Omni-Path division. Read more…

PEARC21 Panel Reviews Eight New NSF-Funded HPC Systems Debuting in 2021

July 23, 2021

Over the past few years, the NSF has funded a number of HPC systems to further supply the open research community with computational resources to meet that community’s changing and expanding needs. A review of these systems at the PEARC21 conference (July 19-22) highlighted... Read more…

Chameleon’s HPC Testbed Sharpens Its Edge, Presses ‘Replay’

July 22, 2021

“One way of saying what I do for a living is to say that I develop scientific instruments,” said Kate Keahey, a senior fellow at the University of Chicago and a computer scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, as s Read more…

PEARC21 Plenary Session: AI for Innovative Social Work

July 21, 2021

AI analysis of social media poses a double-edged sword for social work and addressing the needs of at-risk youths, said Desmond Upton Patton, senior associate dean, Innovation and Academic Affairs, Columbia University. S Read more…

Summer Reading: “High-Performance Computing Is at an Inflection Point”

July 21, 2021

At last month’s 11th International Symposium on Highly Efficient Accelerators and Reconfigurable Technologies (HEART), a group of researchers led by Martin Schulz of the Leibniz Supercomputing Center (Munich) presented a “position paper” in which they argue HPC architectural landscape... Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Accelerate innovation in healthcare and life sciences with AWS HPC

With Amazon Web Services, researchers can access purpose-built HPC tools and services along with scientific and technical expertise to accelerate the pace of discovery. Whether you are sequencing the human genome, using AI/ML for disease detection or running molecular dynamics simulations to develop lifesaving drugs, AWS has the infrastructure you need to run your HPC workloads. Read more…

PEARC21 Panel: Wafer-Scale-Engine Technology Accelerates Machine Learning, HPC

July 21, 2021

Early use of Cerebras’ CS-1 server and wafer-scale engine (WSE) has demonstrated promising acceleration of machine-learning algorithms, according to participants in the Scientific Research Enabled by CS-1 Systems panel Read more…

With New Owner and New Roadmap, an Independent Omni-Path Is Staging a Comeback

July 23, 2021

Put on a shelf by Intel in 2019, Omni-Path faced a uncertain future, but under new custodian Cornelis Networks, OmniPath is looking to make a comeback as an independent high-performance interconnect solution. A "significant refresh" – called Omni-Path Express – is coming later this year according to the company. Cornelis Networks formed last September as a spinout of Intel's Omni-Path division. Read more…

Chameleon’s HPC Testbed Sharpens Its Edge, Presses ‘Replay’

July 22, 2021

“One way of saying what I do for a living is to say that I develop scientific instruments,” said Kate Keahey, a senior fellow at the University of Chicago a Read more…

Summer Reading: “High-Performance Computing Is at an Inflection Point”

July 21, 2021

At last month’s 11th International Symposium on Highly Efficient Accelerators and Reconfigurable Technologies (HEART), a group of researchers led by Martin Schulz of the Leibniz Supercomputing Center (Munich) presented a “position paper” in which they argue HPC architectural landscape... Read more…

PEARC21 Panel: Wafer-Scale-Engine Technology Accelerates Machine Learning, HPC

July 21, 2021

Early use of Cerebras’ CS-1 server and wafer-scale engine (WSE) has demonstrated promising acceleration of machine-learning algorithms, according to participa Read more…

15 Years Later, the Green500 Continues Its Push for Energy Efficiency as a First-Order Concern in HPC

July 15, 2021

The Green500 list, which ranks the most energy-efficient supercomputers in the world, has virtually always faced an uphill battle. As Wu Feng – custodian of the Green500 list and an associate professor at Virginia Tech – tells it, “noone" cared about energy efficiency in the early 2000s, when the seeds... Read more…

Frontier to Meet 20MW Exascale Power Target Set by DARPA in 2008

July 14, 2021

After more than a decade of planning, the United States’ first exascale computer, Frontier, is set to arrive at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) later this year. Crossing this “1,000x” horizon required overcoming four major challenges: power demand, reliability, extreme parallelism and data movement. Read more…

Quantum Roundup: IBM, Rigetti, Phasecraft, Oxford QC, China, and More

July 13, 2021

IBM yesterday announced a proof for a quantum ML algorithm. A week ago, it unveiled a new topology for its quantum processors. Last Friday, the Technical Univer Read more…

ExaWind Prepares for New Architectures, Bigger Simulations

July 10, 2021

The ExaWind project describes itself in terms of terms like wake formation, turbine-turbine interaction and blade-boundary-layer dynamics, but the pitch to the Read more…

AMD Chipmaker TSMC to Use AMD Chips for Chipmaking

May 8, 2021

TSMC has tapped AMD to support its major manufacturing and R&D workloads. AMD will provide its Epyc Rome 7702P CPUs – with 64 cores operating at a base cl Read more…

Intel Launches 10nm ‘Ice Lake’ Datacenter CPU with Up to 40 Cores

April 6, 2021

The wait is over. Today Intel officially launched its 10nm datacenter CPU, the third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor, codenamed Ice Lake. With up to 40 Read more…

Berkeley Lab Debuts Perlmutter, World’s Fastest AI Supercomputer

May 27, 2021

A ribbon-cutting ceremony held virtually at Berkeley Lab's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) today marked the official launch of Perlmutter – aka NERSC-9 – the GPU-accelerated supercomputer built by HPE in partnership with Nvidia and AMD. Read more…

Ahead of ‘Dojo,’ Tesla Reveals Its Massive Precursor Supercomputer

June 22, 2021

In spring 2019, Tesla made cryptic reference to a project called Dojo, a “super-powerful training computer” for video data processing. Then, in summer 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted: “Tesla is developing a [neural network] training computer called Dojo to process truly vast amounts of video data. It’s a beast! … A truly useful exaflop at de facto FP32.” Read more…

Google Launches TPU v4 AI Chips

May 20, 2021

Google CEO Sundar Pichai spoke for only one minute and 42 seconds about the company’s latest TPU v4 Tensor Processing Units during his keynote at the Google I Read more…

CentOS Replacement Rocky Linux Is Now in GA and Under Independent Control

June 21, 2021

The Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF) is announcing the general availability of Rocky Linux, release 8.4, designed as a drop-in replacement for the soon-to-be discontinued CentOS. The GA release is launching six-and-a-half months after Red Hat deprecated its support for the widely popular, free CentOS server operating system. The Rocky Linux development effort... Read more…

CERN Is Betting Big on Exascale

April 1, 2021

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) involves 23 countries, 15,000 researchers, billions of dollars a year, and the biggest machine in the worl Read more…

Iran Gains HPC Capabilities with Launch of ‘Simorgh’ Supercomputer

May 18, 2021

Iran is said to be developing domestic supercomputing technology to advance the processing of scientific, economic, political and military data, and to strengthen the nation’s position in the age of AI and big data. On Sunday, Iran unveiled the Simorgh supercomputer, which will deliver.... Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

HPE Launches Storage Line Loaded with IBM’s Spectrum Scale File System

April 6, 2021

HPE today launched a new family of storage solutions bundled with IBM’s Spectrum Scale Erasure Code Edition parallel file system (description below) and featu Read more…

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

GTC21: Nvidia Launches cuQuantum; Dips a Toe in Quantum Computing

April 13, 2021

Yesterday Nvidia officially dipped a toe into quantum computing with the launch of cuQuantum SDK, a development platform for simulating quantum circuits on GPU-accelerated systems. As Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang emphasized in his keynote, Nvidia doesn’t plan to build... Read more…

Microsoft to Provide World’s Most Powerful Weather & Climate Supercomputer for UK’s Met Office

April 22, 2021

More than 14 months ago, the UK government announced plans to invest £1.2 billion ($1.56 billion) into weather and climate supercomputing, including procuremen Read more…

Q&A with Jim Keller, CTO of Tenstorrent, and an HPCwire Person to Watch in 2021

April 22, 2021

As part of our HPCwire Person to Watch series, we are happy to present our interview with Jim Keller, president and chief technology officer of Tenstorrent. One of the top chip architects of our time, Keller has had an impactful career. Read more…

Quantum Roundup: IBM, Rigetti, Phasecraft, Oxford QC, China, and More

July 13, 2021

IBM yesterday announced a proof for a quantum ML algorithm. A week ago, it unveiled a new topology for its quantum processors. Last Friday, the Technical Univer Read more…

Senate Debate on Bill to Remake NSF – the Endless Frontier Act – Begins

May 18, 2021

The U.S. Senate today opened floor debate on the Endless Frontier Act which seeks to remake and expand the National Science Foundation by creating a technology Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire