OpenSuCo: Advancing Open Source Supercomputing at ISC

By Tiffany Trader

June 15, 2017

As open source hardware gains traction, the potential for a completely open source supercomputing system becomes a compelling proposition, one that is being investigated by the International Workshop on Open Source Supercomputing (OpenSuCo). Ahead of OpenSuCo’s inaugural workshop taking place at ISC 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany, next week, HPCwire reached out to program committee members Anastasiia Butko and David Donofrio of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to learn more about the effort’s activities and vision.

HPCwire: Please introduce “OpenSuCo” — what are your goals and objectives?

OpenSuCo: As we approach the end of MOSFET scaling, the HPC community needs a way to continue performance scaling. One way of providing that scaling is by providing more specialized architectures tailored for specific applications. In order to make possible the specification and verification of these new architectures, more rapid prototyping methods need to be explored. At the same time, these new architectures need software stacks and programming models to be able to actually use these new designs.

There has been a consistent march toward open source for each of these components. At the node hardware level, Facebook has launched the Open Compute Project; Intel has launched OpenHPC, which provides software tools to manage HPC systems. However, each of these efforts use closed source components in their final version. We present OpenSuCo: a workshop for exploring and collaborating on building an HPC system using open-source hardware and system software IP (intellectual property).

The goal of this workshop is to engage the HPC community and explore open-source solutions for constructing an HPC system – from silicon to applications.

Figure illustrates the progress in open source software and hardware


HPCwire: We’ve seen significant momentum for open source silicon in the last few years, with RISC-V and Open Compute Project for example, what is the supercomputing perspective on this?

OpenSuCo: Hardware specialization, specifically the creation of Systems-On-Chip (SoCs), offers a method to create cost-effective HPC architectures from off-the-shelf components. However, effectively tapping the advantages provided by SoC specialization requires the use of expensive and often closed source tools. Furthermore, the building blocks used to create the SoC may be closed source, limiting customization. This often leaves SoC design methodologies outside the reach of many academics and DOE researchers. The case for specialized accelerators can also be made from an economic sense as, in contrast to historical trends, the energy consumed per transistor has been holding steady, while the cost (in dollars) per transistor has been steadily decreasing, implying that we will soon be able to pack more transistors into a given area than can be simultaneously operated.

From an economic standpoint, we are witnessing an explosion of highly cost-sensitive and application-specific IoT (internet of things) devices. The developers of these devices face a stark choice: spend millions on a commercial license for processors and other IP or face the significant risk and cost (in both development time and dollars) of developing custom hardware. Similar parallels can be drawn to the low-volume and rapid design needs found in many scientific and government applications. By developing a low cost and robust path to the generation of specialized hardware, we can support the development and deployment of application-tailored processors across many DOE mission areas.

The design methodologies traditionally focused for use in these cost sensitive design flows can be applied to high-end computing due to the emergence of embedded IP offering HPC-centric capabilities, such as double-precision floating point, 64-bit address capability, and options for high performance I/O and memory interfaces. The SoC approach, coupled with highly accessible open source flows, will allow chip designers to include only features they want, excluding those not utilized by mainstream HPC systems. By pushing customization into the chip, we can create customization that is not feasible with today’s commodity board-level computing system design.

HPCwire: Despite pervasive support in tech circles not everyone is convinced of the merits of open source, what is the case for open source in high performance computing?

OpenSuCo: While many commercial tools provide technology to customize a processor or system given a static baseline, they generally provide only proprietary solutions that both restrict the level of customization that can be applied, as well as increase the cost of production. This cost is of greatest importance to low-volume or highly specialized markets, such as those found in the scientific, research, and defense applications, as large volume customers can absorb this NRE as part of their overall production. As an alternative to closed source hardware flows, open source hardware has been growing in popularity in recent years and mirrors the rise of Linux and open source software in the 1990s and early 2000s. We put forth that Open Source Hardware will drive the next wave of innovation for hardware IP.

In contrast to closed-source hardware IP and flows, a completely open framework and flow enable extreme customization and drive cost for initial development to virtually zero. Going further, by leveraging community-supported and maintained technology, it is possible to also incorporate all of the supporting software infrastructure, compilers, debuggers, etc. that work with open source processor designs. A community-led effort also creates a support community that replaces what is typically found with commercial products and leads to more robust implementations as a greater number of users are testing and working with designs. Finally, for security purposes, any closed-source design carries an inherent risk in the inability to truly inspect all aspects of its operation. Open source hardware allows the user to inspect all aspects of its design for a thorough review of its security.

HPCwire: Even with the advances in open source hardware, a completely open source supercomputing system seems ambitious at this point. Can you speak to the reality of this goal in the context of the challenges and community support?

OpenSuCo: We agree that building a complete open-source HPC system is a daunting task, however, a system composed of an increased number of open source components is an excellent way to increase technological diversity and spur greater innovation.

The rapid growth and adoption of the RISC-V ISA is an excellent example of how a community can produce a complete and robust software toolchain in a relatively short time. While largely used in IoT devices at the moment, there are multiple efforts to extend the reach of RISC-V – in both implementations and functionality, into the HPC space.

HPCwire: What is needed on the software side to make this vision come together?

OpenSuCo: The needs and challenges of an open source-based supercomputer are not any greater than that of a traditional “closed” system. Most future systems will need to face the continuing demands of increased parallelism, shifting Flop-to-Byte ratios and an increase in the quantity and variety of accelerators. An open system may possess greater transparency and a larger user community allowing more effective and distributed development. Regardless, continued collaboration between software and hardware developers will be necessary to create the required community to support this effort. As part of the OpenSuCo workshop we hope to engage and bring together a diverse community of software and hardware architects willing to engage on the possibility of realizing this vision.

HPCwire: You’re holding a half-day workshop at ISC 2017 in Frankfurt on June 22. What is on the agenda and who should attend?

OpenSuCo: The ISC 2017 workshop agenda consists of three technical tracks:

Hardware Track

Sven Karlsson and Pascal Schleuniger (Danmarks Tekniske Universitet)

Kurt Keville (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)\Anne Elster (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

Software Track

Hiroaki Kataoka and Ryos Suzuki

Anastasiia Butko (Berkeley Lab)

Xavier Teurel (Barcellona Supercomputing Center)

Collaboration Track

Bill Nitzberg (Altair Engineering, Inc.)

Jens Breitbart (Robert Bosch GmbH)

Antonio Peña (Barcelona Supercomputing Center)

Keynote Speaker: Alex Bradbury (University of Cambridge)

The complete agenda of the event can be found online at http://www.opensuco.community/2017/05/24/isc17-agenda/.

While many of the emerging technologies and opportunities surround the rise of open-source hardware, we would like to invite all members of the HPC community to participate in a true co-design effort in building a complete HPC system.

HPCwire: You’ll also be holding a workshop at SC17. You’ve put out a call for papers. How else can people get involved in OpenSuCo activities?

OpenSuCo: While we have long advocated for innovative and open source systems for the HPC community, we are just beginning to tackle this comprehensive solution and cannot do it alone. We welcome collaborators to help build the next generation of HPC software and hardware design flows.

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!

Watch Nvidia’s GTC21 Keynote with Jensen Huang Livestreamed Here at HPCwire

April 9, 2021

Join HPCwire right here on Monday, April 12, at 8:30 am PT to see the Nvidia GTC21 keynote from Nvidia’s CEO, Jensen Huang, livestreamed in its entirety. Hosted by HPCwire, you can click to join the Huang keynote on our livestream to hear Nvidia’s expected news and... Read more…

The US Places Seven Additional Chinese Supercomputing Entities on Blacklist

April 8, 2021

As tensions between the U.S. and China continue to simmer, the U.S. government today added seven Chinese supercomputing entities to an economic blacklist. The U.S. Entity List bars U.S. firms from supplying key technolog Read more…

Argonne Supercomputing Supports Caterpillar Engine Design

April 8, 2021

Diesel fuels still account for nearly ten percent of all energy-related U.S. carbon emissions – most of them from heavy-duty vehicles like trucks and construction equipment. Energy efficiency is key to these machines, Read more…

Habana’s AI Silicon Comes to San Diego Supercomputer Center

April 8, 2021

Habana Labs, an Intel-owned AI company, has partnered with server maker Supermicro to provide high-performance, high-efficiency AI computing in the form of new training and inference servers that will power the upcoming Read more…

Intel Partners Debut Latest Servers Based on the New Intel Gen 3 ‘Ice Lake’ Xeons

April 7, 2021

Fresh from Intel’s launch of the company’s latest third-generation Xeon Scalable “Ice Lake” processors on April 6 (Tuesday), Intel server partners Cisco, Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo simultaneously unveiled their first server models built around the latest chips. And though arch-rival AMD may... Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Volkswagen Passenger Cars Uses NICE DCV for High-Performance 3D Remote Visualization

 

Volkswagen Passenger Cars has been one of the world’s largest car manufacturers for over 70 years. The company delivers more than 6 million automobiles to global customers every year, from 50 production locations on five continents. Read more…

What’s New in HPC Research: Tundra, Fugaku, µHPC & More

April 6, 2021

In this regular 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…

The US Places Seven Additional Chinese Supercomputing Entities on Blacklist

April 8, 2021

As tensions between the U.S. and China continue to simmer, the U.S. government today added seven Chinese supercomputing entities to an economic blacklist. The U Read more…

Habana’s AI Silicon Comes to San Diego Supercomputer Center

April 8, 2021

Habana Labs, an Intel-owned AI company, has partnered with server maker Supermicro to provide high-performance, high-efficiency AI computing in the form of new Read more…

Intel Partners Debut Latest Servers Based on the New Intel Gen 3 ‘Ice Lake’ Xeons

April 7, 2021

Fresh from Intel’s launch of the company’s latest third-generation Xeon Scalable “Ice Lake” processors on April 6 (Tuesday), Intel server partners Cisco, Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo simultaneously unveiled their first server models built around the latest chips. And though arch-rival AMD may... 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…

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…

RIKEN’s Ongoing COVID Research Includes New Vaccines, New Tests & More

April 6, 2021

RIKEN took the supercomputing world by storm last summer when it launched Fugaku – which became (and remains) the world’s most powerful supercomputer – ne 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…

AI Systems Summit Keynote: Brace for System Level Heterogeneity Says de Supinski

April 1, 2021

Heterogeneous computing has quickly come to mean packing a couple of CPUs and one-or-many accelerators, mostly GPUs, onto the same node. Today, a one-such-node system has become the standard AI server offered by dozens of vendors. This is not to diminish the many advances... 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…

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…

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…

Programming the Soon-to-Be World’s Fastest Supercomputer, Frontier

January 5, 2021

What’s it like designing an app for the world’s fastest supercomputer, set to come online in the United States in 2021? The University of Delaware’s Sunita Chandrasekaran is leading an elite international team in just that task. Chandrasekaran, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, recently was named... Read more…

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…

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…

Saudi Aramco Unveils Dammam 7, Its New Top Ten Supercomputer

January 21, 2021

By revenue, oil and gas giant Saudi Aramco is one of the largest companies in the world, and it has historically employed commensurate amounts of supercomputing Read more…

Quantum Computer Start-up IonQ Plans IPO via SPAC

March 8, 2021

IonQ, a Maryland-based quantum computing start-up working with ion trap technology, plans to go public via a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) merger a Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Can Deep Learning Replace Numerical Weather Prediction?

March 3, 2021

Numerical weather prediction (NWP) is a mainstay of supercomputing. Some of the first applications of the first supercomputers dealt with climate modeling, and Read more…

Livermore’s El Capitan Supercomputer to Debut HPE ‘Rabbit’ Near Node Local Storage

February 18, 2021

A near node local storage innovation called Rabbit factored heavily into Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s decision to select Cray’s proposal for its CORAL-2 machine, the lab’s first exascale-class supercomputer, El Capitan. Details of this new storage technology were revealed... Read more…

New Deep Learning Algorithm Solves Rubik’s Cube

July 25, 2018

Solving (and attempting to solve) Rubik’s Cube has delighted millions of puzzle lovers since 1974 when the cube was invented by Hungarian sculptor and archite Read more…

African Supercomputing Center Inaugurates ‘Toubkal,’ Most Powerful Supercomputer on the Continent

February 25, 2021

Historically, Africa hasn’t exactly been synonymous with supercomputing. There are only a handful of supercomputers on the continent, with few ranking on the Read more…

The History of Supercomputing vs. COVID-19

March 9, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a greater challenge to the high-performance computing community than any before. HPCwire's coverage of the supercomputing response t Read more…

HPE Names Justin Hotard New HPC Chief as Pete Ungaro Departs

March 2, 2021

HPE CEO Antonio Neri announced today (March 2, 2021) the appointment of Justin Hotard as general manager of HPC, mission critical solutions and labs, effective Read more…

Microsoft, HPE Bringing AI, Edge, Cloud to Earth Orbit in Preparation for Mars Missions

February 12, 2021

The International Space Station will soon get a delivery of powerful AI, edge and cloud computing tools from HPE and Microsoft Azure to expand technology experi Read more…

AMD Launches Epyc ‘Milan’ with 19 SKUs for HPC, Enterprise and Hyperscale

March 15, 2021

At a virtual launch event held today (Monday), AMD revealed its third-generation Epyc “Milan” CPU lineup: a set of 19 SKUs -- including the flagship 64-core, 280-watt 7763 part --  aimed at HPC, enterprise and cloud workloads. Notably, the third-gen Epyc Milan chips achieve 19 percent... Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire