Newsletter December 2013

Montblanc Newsletter December 2013

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EUROPEAN APPROACH TOWARDS ENERGY EFFICIENT HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING

Mont-Blanc project awarded SC13 Best Student Paper

Mont-Blanc project awarded SC13 Best Student Paper

The Heterogeneous Architectures team of the BSC Computer Sciences Department  has been awarded the SC13 best student paper, announced in the awards ceremony from the International Conference for High Performance Computing.

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First Mont-Blanc Compute Cards: 3.5 Times Higher Performance for Half the Energy

First Mont-Blanc Compute Cards: 3.5 Times Higher Performance for Half the Energy

The first test units of the Mont-Blanc prototype have been presented at the SC13 conference held in Denver, USA. The Mont-Blanc compute cards deliver considerably higher performance; at 50% lower energy consumption, compared with previous ARM-based developer platforms.

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Mont-Blanc project extended until 2016

Mont-Blanc project extended until 2016

Since October 2011, the aim of the European project called Mont-Blanc has been to design a new type of computer architecture capable of setting future global HPC standards, built from energy efficient solutions used in embedded and mobile devices.

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Mont-Blanc collaborates with...

The aim of the CARP project is to design techniques and tools for correct and efficient accelerator programming: 1) Novel and attractive methods for constructing system-independent accelerator programs; 2) Advanced code generation techniques to produce highly optimised system-specific code from system-independent programs; 3) Scalable static techniques for analysing accelerator software both qualitatively and quantitatively.

This is motivated by the widespread availability of massively parallel accelerators, primarily GPUs, which offer significant compute power at a low cost. Tasks such as media processing, simulation, medical imaging and emotion tracking can be accelerated to beat CPU performance, sometimes by orders of magnitude, and performance is gained in both energy efficiency and execution speed, allowing intensive media processing software to run in low-power consumer devices. However, low-level programming of heterogeneous accelerators is notoriously difficult, hence there is a need for developments in programming languages and analysis in this area.

Alex Ramirez: Message from the coordinatorWelcome to the fourth edition of the Mont-Blanc Newsletter, shortly after the 2013 Supercomputing event in Denver.

The announcement of the first set of performance and energy efficiency results on our prototype platform has been very well received by the HPC community. These results show that the new ARM Cortex-A15 and the ARM Mali-T604 GPU offer 4 times higher performance than previous ARM platforms on our HPC kernels, while consuming only half the energy. The announcements about 64-bit ARM processors and new embedded GPU architectures keep coming, pointing at very exciting times ahead.

The joint BoF session with the CRESTA and DEEP projects on "Building on the European Exascale approach" was very well attended, with close to 100 people in the room holding a lively discussion about he future of these projects. Our research paper titled "Supercomputing with commodity CPUs: Are Mobile SoCs Ready For HPC?" received the Best Student Paper Award by the SC'13 committee, and the Mont-Blanc project was featured in press articles in Wired.com, HPC Wire, and Scientific Computing.

The Mont-Blanc platform is the pioneer ARM-based HPC system, and so the community is eager to learn more about its performance and usefulness for their scientific and engineering codes. The consortium is also interested in opening access to the prototype to external users, to learn more about how our platforms works under other workloads. In the next months, we will be defining the protocol to follow for those HPC users who want to access the prototype.

Continued development of the Mont-Blanc software stack, and support for the prototype platform and its developers is one of the objectives of the second Mont-Blanc project, also funded by the EC under FP7 to continue supporting this Exascale initiative.

Mont-Blanc will continue evaluating the performance and energy efficiency of new ARM platforms, and will set the foundations for the Mont-Blanc Exascale architecture. You will find further details in this newsletter.

At the risk of repeating myself from our previous newsletter: Mont-Blanc continues to be a most exciting initiative, facing great challenges, in the promise of great rewards. Please, continue to follow our progress. Our next major event, is ISC'14 in Leipzig, see you there!

 

Alex Ramírez
Mont-Blanc Coordinator

www.montblanc-project.eu
© BSC-CNS, 2013
Europa Europa Europa The Mont-Blanc project receives funding from the EU’s Seventh
Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 288777 and 610402.

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