ISC Workshop Tackles the Co-development Challenge

By John Russell

July 12, 2016

The long percolating discussion over ‘co-development’ and how best it should be undertaken has gained new urgency in the race towards exascale computing. At a workshop held at ISC2016 last month – Form Follows Function: Do algorithms and applications challenge or drag behind the hardware evolution? – several distinguished panelists offered varying viewpoints. Yesterday, session organizer Tobias Weinzierl posted a summary synopsis of the workshop discussion on arXiv.org.

Weinzierl (Durham University) and co-organizer Michael Bader (Technische Universität München) are active participants in the ExaHyPE project (An Exascale Hyperbolic PDE (partial differential equation) Engine [1], funded by EU’s Horizon 2020 program). ExaHyPE focuses on the development of new mathematical and algorithmic approaches to exascale systems – initially for simulations in geophysics and astrophysics. During the four-year project, researchers from institutions in Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, and Russia will develop novel software for performing simulations on exascale supercomputers.

Seven European supercomputing projects were invited to the workshop to “share their views on the interplay of hardware and software evolution,” giving the workshop a distinctly European flavor. Among the speakers and organizations represented were:

DruckWeinzierl wrote that technology roadmaps are dominated by predictions on hardware. “At the same time, hardware-software co-design is a frequently cited phrase. It suggests that software development can have an impact on the hardware evolution. It can actively shape. The workshop members clarified in their talks to which degree this assumption holds in the context of their projects, what the interaction of hardware and software development looks like and weather the interplay is positive and should be fostered or manipulative and slows down scientific progress?”

He also noted pointedly, “As the workshop invited European projects, this document has a strong European flavour. This is important to keep in mind given that we discuss aspects of co-design—in a business that is dominated by US vendors. Furthermore, almost all invited projects emphasize aspects of simulation software development and integration into classic simulation workflows. We do not really discuss co-design in a co-design setting: all statements on co-design are made from a scientific computing’s software point of view. Last but not least, some statements are on purpose pointed.”

Here’s an excerpt from Weinzierl’s summary report (the report itself is brief and best read in full (link below)):

Running in circles: Does co-design happen (outside co-design projects)?

  • “Any discussion on hardware-software/software-hardware influence has to start from a clarification whether such a cycle does exist and what it looks like. The workshop opened with a presentation by Jack Dongarra who sketched such a cycle. LINPACK [3] with its emphasis on vectors fits to a particular type of machine. It was written at a time when it had been important to tackle the thorny fact that floating point operations are expensive. LAPACK [4] anticipates the advent of caches where keeping the floating point units busy gains importance. ScaLAPACK’s [5] design was kicked off by multi-node machines with MPI, while the dusk of BSP triggers the development of Magma [6] and Plasma [7]. The latter are subject of study in the NLAFET project [8]. Mark Parsons gave another example as he outlined how the availability of 3D XPoint non-volatile memory [9] laid the foundations of the NEXTGenIO project [10] 2 studying how to use additional memory layers between main memory and hard disk.
  • Jack Dongarra
    Jack Dongarra

    “While it is easy to follow how hardware development triggers new algorithmic work—our own ExaHyPE [1] project hypothesising that hardware will suffer from severe performance fluctuations is an example for this, too—Jack pointed out that the (Top 500) benchmarks in turn grew downstreamingly into a directing role for the hardware evolution, as they make vendors tune their machines towards these benchmarks; though this has never been the intention behind them in the first place as he emphasised. Other examples for the influence back are the increasing IO demands of today’s software as sketched before, or GPGPU modifications as Peter Messmer illustrated at hands of the Escape project [11]: atomics and double precision would not have made it into GPUs that fast if there had not been a demand of these features from the scientific computing side. After all, machines are procured because of scientific software needs. So while we see software written from scratch around every ten years because of transformative hardware developments, in-between software continuously influences the hardware evolution; mainly by acting as benchmarks or as they escalate bottlenecks.”

Weinzierl wrote, “Most workshop participants were skeptical whether the cycle of influence is a good one the way we experience it right now: It orbits around weaknesses and demands. It is backward looking. Mark articulated that he is worried that the evolution even does not take the well-known Amdahl numbers into account [13]: “I believe strongly in co-design but it happens extremely rarely”.

As noted early, Weinzierl’s summary report is short and best read in full. Here’s a link to the report: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1607.02835v1.pdf

References

[1] www.exahype.eu
[2] www.exascale.org/mediawiki/images/2/20/IESP-roadmap.pdf
[3] www.netlib.org/linpack
[4] www.netlib.org/lapack
[5] www.netlib.org/scalapack
[6] icl.cs.utk.edu/magma
[7] icl.cs.utk.edu/plasma
[8] www.nlafet.eu
[9] www.micron.com/about/emerging-technologies/3d-xpoint-technology
[10] www.nextgenio.eu
[11] www.hpc-escape.eu
[12] www.isc-hpc.com
[13] www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/publication/rules-of-thumb-in-data-engineering
[14] exaflow-project.eu

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!

RPI Powers Up ‘AiMOS’ AI Supercomputer

December 11, 2019

Designed to push the frontiers of computing chip and systems performance optimized for AI workloads, an 8 petaflops (Linpack) IBM Power9-based supercomputer has been unveiled in upstate New York that will be used by IBM Read more…

By Doug Black

At SC19: Developing a Digital Twin

December 11, 2019

In the not too distant future, we can expect to see our skies filled with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) delivering packages, maybe even people, from location to location. In such a world, there will also be a digita Read more…

By Aaron Dubrow

Supercomputers Help Predict Carbon Dioxide Levels

December 10, 2019

The Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems – its lands, forests, jungles and so on – are crucial “sinks” for atmospheric carbon, holding nearly 30 percent of our annual CO2 emissions as they breathe in the carbon-rich Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Finally! SC19 Competitors Live and in Color!

December 10, 2019

You know the saying “better late than never”? That’s how my cluster competition coverage is faring this year. With SC19 coming late in November, quickly followed by my annual trip to South Africa to cover their clu Read more…

By Dan Olds

Intel’s Jim Clarke on its New Cryo-controller and why Intel isn’t Late to the Quantum Party

December 9, 2019

Intel today introduced the ‘first-of-its-kind’ cryo-controller chip for quantum computing and previewed a cryo-prober tool for characterizing quantum processor chips. The new controller is a mixed-signal SoC named Ho Read more…

By John Russell

AWS Solution Channel

Making High Performance Computing Affordable and Accessible for Small and Medium Businesses with HPC on AWS

High performance computing (HPC) brings a powerful set of tools to a broad range of industries, helping to drive innovation and boost revenue in finance, genomics, oil and gas extraction, and other fields. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

GPU Scheduling and Resource Accounting: The Key to an Efficient AI Data Center

[Connect with LSF users and learn new skills in the IBM Spectrum LSF User Community!]

GPUs are the new CPUs

GPUs have become a staple technology in modern HPC and AI data centers. Read more…

What’s New in HPC Research: Natural Gas, Precision Agriculture, Neural Networks and More

December 6, 2019

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

By Oliver Peckham

RPI Powers Up ‘AiMOS’ AI Supercomputer

December 11, 2019

Designed to push the frontiers of computing chip and systems performance optimized for AI workloads, an 8 petaflops (Linpack) IBM Power9-based supercomputer has Read more…

By Doug Black

Intel’s Jim Clarke on its New Cryo-controller and why Intel isn’t Late to the Quantum Party

December 9, 2019

Intel today introduced the ‘first-of-its-kind’ cryo-controller chip for quantum computing and previewed a cryo-prober tool for characterizing quantum proces Read more…

By John Russell

On the Spack Track @SC19

December 5, 2019

At the annual supercomputing conference, SC19 in Denver, Colorado, there were Spack events each day of the conference. As a reflection of its grassroots heritage, nine sessions were planned by more than a dozen thought leaders from seven organizations, including three U.S. national Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories and Sylabs... Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake

Intel’s New Hyderabad Design Center Targets Exascale Era Technologies

December 3, 2019

Intel's Raja Koduri was in India this week to help launch a new 300,000 square foot design and engineering center in Hyderabad, which will focus on advanced com Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AWS Debuts 7nm 2nd-Gen Graviton Arm Processor

December 3, 2019

The “x86 Big Bang,” in which market dominance of the venerable Intel CPU has exploded into fragments of processor options suited to varying workloads, has n Read more…

By Doug Black

Ride on the Wild Side – Squyres SC19 Mars Rovers Keynote

December 2, 2019

Reminding us of the deep and enabling connection between HPC and modern science is an important part of the SC Conference mission. And yes, HPC is a science its Read more…

By John Russell

NSCI Update – Adapting to a Changing Landscape

December 2, 2019

It was November of 2017 when we last visited the topic of the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI). As you will recall, the NSCI was started with an Executive Order (E.O. No. 13702), that was issued by President Obama in July of 2015 and was followed by a Strategic Plan that was released in July of 2016. The question for November of 2017... Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Tsinghua University Racks Up Its Ninth Student Cluster Championship Win at SC19

November 27, 2019

Tsinghua University has done it again. At SC19 last week, the eight-time gold medal-winner team took home the top prize in the 2019 Student Cluster Competition Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Using AI to Solve One of the Most Prevailing Problems in CFD

October 17, 2019

How can artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) solve mesh generation, one of the most commonly referenced problems in computational engineering? A new study has set out to answer this question and create an industry-first AI-mesh application... Read more…

By James Sharpe

D-Wave’s Path to 5000 Qubits; Google’s Quantum Supremacy Claim

September 24, 2019

On the heels of IBM’s quantum news last week come two more quantum items. D-Wave Systems today announced the name of its forthcoming 5000-qubit system, Advantage (yes the name choice isn’t serendipity), at its user conference being held this week in Newport, RI. Read more…

By John Russell

DARPA Looks to Propel Parallelism

September 4, 2019

As Moore’s law runs out of steam, new programming approaches are being pursued with the goal of greater hardware performance with less coding. The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency is launching a new programming effort aimed at leveraging the benefits of massive distributed parallelism with less sweat. Read more…

By George Leopold

Ayar Labs to Demo Photonics Chiplet in FPGA Package at Hot Chips

August 19, 2019

Silicon startup Ayar Labs continues to gain momentum with its DARPA-backed optical chiplet technology that puts advanced electronics and optics on the same chip Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

SC19: IBM Changes Its HPC-AI Game Plan

November 25, 2019

It’s probably fair to say IBM is known for big bets. Summit supercomputer – a big win. Red Hat acquisition – looking like a big win. OpenPOWER and Power processors – jury’s out? At SC19, long-time IBMer Dave Turek sketched out a different kind of bet for Big Blue – a small ball strategy, if you’ll forgive the baseball analogy... Read more…

By John Russell

Cray, Fujitsu Both Bringing Fujitsu A64FX-based Supercomputers to Market in 2020

November 12, 2019

The number of top-tier HPC systems makers has shrunk due to a steady march of M&A activity, but there is increased diversity and choice of processing compon Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Crystal Ball Gazing: IBM’s Vision for the Future of Computing

October 14, 2019

Dario Gil, IBM’s relatively new director of research, painted a intriguing portrait of the future of computing along with a rough idea of how IBM thinks we’ Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Debuts New GPU – Ponte Vecchio – and Outlines Aspirations for oneAPI

November 17, 2019

Intel today revealed a few more details about its forthcoming Xe line of GPUs – the top SKU is named Ponte Vecchio and will be used in Aurora, the first plann Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

SC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

AMD
AMD
CEJN
CJEN
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
SIX NINES IT
SIX NINES IT
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL
WEKAIO
WEKAIO

Kubernetes, Containers and HPC

September 19, 2019

Software containers and Kubernetes are important tools for building, deploying, running and managing modern enterprise applications at scale and delivering enterprise software faster and more reliably to the end user — while using resources more efficiently and reducing costs. Read more…

By Daniel Gruber, Burak Yenier and Wolfgang Gentzsch, UberCloud

Dell Ramps Up HPC Testing of AMD Rome Processors

October 21, 2019

Dell Technologies is wading deeper into the AMD-based systems market with a growing evaluation program for the latest Epyc (Rome) microprocessors from AMD. In a Read more…

By John Russell

Cray Wins NNSA-Livermore ‘El Capitan’ Exascale Contract

August 13, 2019

Cray has won the bid to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laborator Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

SC19: Welcome to Denver

November 17, 2019

A significant swath of the HPC community has come to Denver for SC19, which began today (Sunday) with a rich technical program. As is customary, the ribbon cutt Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

When Dense Matrix Representations Beat Sparse

September 9, 2019

In our world filled with unintended consequences, it turns out that saving memory space to help deal with GPU limitations, knowing it introduces performance pen Read more…

By James Reinders

With the Help of HPC, Astronomers Prepare to Deflect a Real Asteroid

September 26, 2019

For years, NASA has been running simulations of asteroid impacts to understand the risks (and likelihoods) of asteroids colliding with Earth. Now, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are preparing for the next, crucial step in planetary defense against asteroid impacts: physically deflecting a real asteroid. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Cerebras to Supply DOE with Wafer-Scale AI Supercomputing Technology

September 17, 2019

Cerebras Systems, which debuted its wafer-scale AI silicon at Hot Chips last month, has entered into a multi-year partnership with Argonne National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as part of a larger collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Jensen Huang’s SC19 – Fast Cars, a Strong Arm, and Aiming for the Cloud(s)

November 20, 2019

We’ve come to expect Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang’s annual SC keynote to contain stunning graphics and lively bravado (with plenty of examples) in support of GPU Read more…

By John Russell

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