Optimizing Industrial Applications for Heterogeneous HPC systems
A wide range of services based on advanced technology rely on emerging high-performance computing (HPC) applications. To support the expanding demands for processing power, future HPC systems require accelerators. A promising solution is the use of field-programmable gate array (FPGA) devices that can be reconfigured at any time, implementing tailored-made application accelerators. The EU-funded OPTIMA project, an SME-driven initiative, will use FPGA-populated HPC systems to develop several industrial applications and a set of open source libraries at significantly higher energy efficiency. The project will make it possible for SMEs to beat the competition by more efficiently executing their applications. Ultimately, this will demonstrate the EU’s pioneering position in the development of FPGA-populated HPC systems and applications/libraries.
In order to support the expanding demands for processing power from emerging HPC applications, within a pragmatic energy envelope, the future HPC systems will incorporate accelerators. One promising approach, towards this end, is the utilization of FPGAs; the main advantage of those devices is that, since they can be reconfigured at any time so as to implement tailor-made application accelerators, their energy efficiency and/or performance, in most of the cases, is much higher than that of CPUs and GPUs.
OPTIMA is an SME-driven project aiming to port and optimize a number of industrial applications as well as a set of open-source libraries, utilized in at least 3 different application domains, to two novel FPGA-populated HPC systems, utilizing several innovative programming environments. It is expected that the applications and the libraries will be executed, in those heterogeneous HPC systems at significantly higher energy-efficiency as described by the Energy Delay Product metric (EDP); in particular, the EDP of the OPTIMA applications and libraries when executed on the targeted FPGA-based HPC systems, is expected to be more than 10x higher than that triggered by CPU-based systems and more than 3x higher than the GPU-based ones.
The main outcomes of OPTIMA will be that: a) the participating SMEs will gain a significant advantage since they will be able to execute their applications much more efficiently than the competition, b) it will be further proved that Europe is at the forefront of developing efficient FPGA-populated HPC systems and application/libraries taking advantage of them, c) the open-source libraries as well as the open-source applications developed within OPTIMA will allow third parties to easily target FPGA-based HPC systems for their application developments, d) there will be an open-to-use HPC infrastructure supported by a specially formed sustainability body.
Energy-efficient Heterogeneous COmputing at exaSCALE
In order to sustain the ever-increasing demand of storing, transferring and mainly processing data, HPC servers need to improve their capabilities. Scaling in number of cores alone is not a feasible solution any more due to the increasing utility costs and power consumption limitations. While current HPC systems can offer petaflop performance, their architecture limits their capabilities in terms of scalability and energy consumption. Extrapolating from the top HPC systems, such as China’s Tianhe-2 Supercomputer, we would require an enormous 1GW power to sustain exaflop performance while a similar yet smaller number is triggered even if we take the best system of the Green 500 list as an initial reference.
Apart from improving transistor and integration technology, what is needed is to refine the HPC application development and the HPC architecture design. Towards this end, ECOSCALE will analyse the characteristics and trends of current and future applications in order to provide a hybrid MPI+OpenCL programming environment, a hierarchical architecture, runtime system and middleware, and a shared distributed reconfigurable hardware based acceleration.
Telecommunication Systems Research Institute (T.S.I.)
Technical University of Crete
Campus – Akrotiri
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