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!

Data West Brings Technology Leaders to SDSC

December 6, 2018

Data and technology enthusiasts from around the world descended upon the San Diego Supercomputing Center (SDSC) for the third annual Data West conference, which is taking place this week on the campus of the University o Read more…

By Alex Woodie

Topology Can Help Us Find Patterns in Weather

December 6, 2018

Topology--–the study of shapes-- seems to be all the rage. You could even say that data has shape, and shape matters. Shapes are comfortable and familiar concepts, so it is intriguing to see that many applications are Read more…

By James Reinders

What’s New in HPC Research: Automatic Energy Efficiency, DNA Data Analysis, Post-Exascale & More

December 6, 2018

In this bimonthly feature, HPCwire highlights newly published research in the high-performance computing community and related domains. From exascale to quantum computing, the details are here. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

AI Can Be Scary. But Choosing the Wrong Partners Can Be Mortifying!

As you continue to dive deeper into AI, you will discover it is more than just deep learning. AI is an extremely complex set of machine learning, deep learning, reinforcement, and analytics algorithms with varying compute, storage, memory, and communications needs. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Five Steps to Building a Data Strategy for AI

Our data-centric world is driving many organizations to apply advanced analytics that use artificial intelligence (AI). AI provides intelligent answers to challenging business questions. AI also enables highly personalized user experiences, built when data scientists and analysts learn new information from data that would otherwise go undetected using traditional analytics methods. Read more…

Zettascale by 2035? China Thinks So

December 6, 2018

Exascale machines (of at least a 1 exaflops peak) are anticipated to arrive by around 2020, a few years behind original predictions; and given extreme-scale performance challenges are not getting any easier, it makes sense that researchers are already looking ahead to the next big 1,000x performance goal post: zettascale computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Topology Can Help Us Find Patterns in Weather

December 6, 2018

Topology--–the study of shapes-- seems to be all the rage. You could even say that data has shape, and shape matters. Shapes are comfortable and familiar conc Read more…

By James Reinders

Zettascale by 2035? China Thinks So

December 6, 2018

Exascale machines (of at least a 1 exaflops peak) are anticipated to arrive by around 2020, a few years behind original predictions; and given extreme-scale performance challenges are not getting any easier, it makes sense that researchers are already looking ahead to the next big 1,000x performance goal post: zettascale computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Robust Quantum Computers Still a Decade Away, Says Nat’l Academies Report

December 5, 2018

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine yesterday released a report – Quantum Computing: Progress and Prospects – whose optimism about Read more…

By John Russell

Revisiting the 2008 Exascale Computing Study at SC18

November 29, 2018

A report published a decade ago conveyed the results of a study aimed at determining if it were possible to achieve 1000X the computational power of the the Read more…

By Scott Gibson

AWS Debuts Lustre as a Service, Accelerates Data Transfer

November 28, 2018

From the Amazon re:Invent main stage in Las Vegas today, Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy introduced Amazon FSx for Lustre, citing a growing body of applicati Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AWS Launches First Arm Cloud Instances

November 28, 2018

AWS, a macrocosm of the emerging high-performance technology landscape, wants to be everywhere you want to be and offer everything you want to use (or at least Read more…

By Doug Black

Move Over Lustre & Spectrum Scale – Here Comes BeeGFS?

November 26, 2018

Is BeeGFS – the parallel file system with European roots – on a path to compete with Lustre and Spectrum Scale worldwide in HPC environments? Frank Herold Read more…

By John Russell

DOE Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar Interviewed at SC18

November 21, 2018

During the 30th annual SC conference in Dallas last week, SC18 hosted U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science Paul M. Dabbar. In attendance Nov. 13-14, Dabbar delivered remarks at the Top500 panel, met with a number of industry stakeholders and toured the show floor. He also met with HPCwire for an interview, where we discussed the role of the DOE in advancing leadership computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quantum Computing Will Never Work

November 27, 2018

Amid the gush of money and enthusiastic predictions being thrown at quantum computing comes a proposed cold shower in the form of an essay by physicist Mikhail Read more…

By John Russell

Cray Unveils Shasta, Lands NERSC-9 Contract

October 30, 2018

Cray revealed today the details of its next-gen supercomputing architecture, Shasta, selected to be the next flagship system at NERSC. We've known of the code-name "Shasta" since the Argonne slice of the CORAL project was announced in 2015 and although the details of that plan have changed considerably, Cray didn't slow down its timeline for Shasta. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM at Hot Chips: What’s Next for Power

August 23, 2018

With processor, memory and networking technologies all racing to fill in for an ailing Moore’s law, the era of the heterogeneous datacenter is well underway, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

House Passes $1.275B National Quantum Initiative

September 17, 2018

Last Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Quantum Initiative Act (NQIA) intended to accelerate quantum computing research and developm Read more…

By John Russell

CERN Project Sees Orders-of-Magnitude Speedup with AI Approach

August 14, 2018

An award-winning effort at CERN has demonstrated potential to significantly change how the physics based modeling and simulation communities view machine learni Read more…

By Rob Farber

Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

AMD Sets Up for Epyc Epoch

November 16, 2018

It’s been a good two weeks, AMD’s Gary Silcott and Andy Parma told me on the last day of SC18 in Dallas at the restaurant where we met to discuss their show news and recent successes. Heck, it’s been a good year. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

US Leads Supercomputing with #1, #2 Systems & Petascale Arm

November 12, 2018

The 31st Supercomputing Conference (SC) - commemorating 30 years since the first Supercomputing in 1988 - kicked off in Dallas yesterday, taking over the Kay Ba Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

SC 18 Virtual Booth Video Tour

Advania @ SC18 AMD @ SC18
ASRock Rack @ SC18
DDN Storage @ SC18
HPE @ SC18
IBM @ SC18
Lenovo @ SC18 Mellanox Technologies @ SC18
NVIDIA @ SC18
One Stop Systems @ SC18
Oracle @ SC18 Panasas @ SC18
Supermicro @ SC18 SUSE @ SC18 TYAN @ SC18
Verne Global @ SC18

TACC’s ‘Frontera’ Supercomputer Expands Horizon for Extreme-Scale Science

August 29, 2018

The National Science Foundation and the Texas Advanced Computing Center announced today that a new system, called Frontera, will overtake Stampede 2 as the fast Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE No. 1, IBM Surges, in ‘Bucking Bronco’ High Performance Server Market

September 27, 2018

Riding healthy U.S. and global economies, strong demand for AI-capable hardware and other tailwind trends, the high performance computing server market jumped 28 percent in the second quarter 2018 to $3.7 billion, up from $2.9 billion for the same period last year, according to industry analyst firm Hyperion Research. Read more…

By Doug Black

Nvidia’s Jensen Huang Delivers Vision for the New HPC

November 14, 2018

For nearly two hours on Monday at SC18, Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, presented his expansive view of the future of HPC (and computing in general) as only he can do. Animated. Backstopped by a stream of data charts, product photos, and even a beautiful image of supernovae... Read more…

By John Russell

Germany Celebrates Launch of Two Fastest Supercomputers

September 26, 2018

The new high-performance computer SuperMUC-NG at the Leibniz Supercomputing Center (LRZ) in Garching is the fastest computer in Germany and one of the fastest i Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Houston to Field Massive, ‘Geophysically Configured’ Cloud Supercomputer

October 11, 2018

Based on some news stories out today, one might get the impression that the next system to crack number one on the Top500 would be an industrial oil and gas mon Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Confirms 48-Core Cascade Lake-AP for 2019

November 4, 2018

As part of the run-up to SC18, taking place in Dallas next week (Nov. 11-16), Intel is doling out info on its next-gen Cascade Lake family of Xeon processors, specifically the “Advanced Processor” version (Cascade Lake-AP), architected for high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and infrastructure-as-a-service workloads. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Releases Machine Learning “What-If” Analysis Tool

September 12, 2018

Training machine learning models has long been time-consuming process. Yesterday, Google released a “What-If Tool” for probing how data point changes affect a model’s prediction. The new tool is being launched as a new feature of the open source TensorBoard web application... Read more…

By John Russell

The Convergence of Big Data and Extreme-Scale HPC

August 31, 2018

As we are heading towards extreme-scale HPC coupled with data intensive analytics like machine learning, the necessary integration of big data and HPC is a curr Read more…

By Rob Farber

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This