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What do supercomputing experts, data scientists, students, musicians, and actor Alan Alda have in common? For one thing, they’ll all be attending the upcoming Supercomputing Conference (SC15) in Austin, TX.

 

High-performance computing (HPC) is transforming our lives and SC15 is a unique opportunity to spotlight HPC and scientific applications, as well as innovations from around the world. AMD views this conference as a testament to – and reason to celebrate – the ever-expanding innovation and discovery in HPC. And with the conference returning to Austin for its 27th anniversary, the HPC community has much to unveil and share.

 

Running from November 15th – 20th, SC15 will bring together the international supercomputing community for an exceptional program of technical papers, informative tutorials, timely research posters and Bird-of-a-Feather sessions. The SC15 Exhibition Hall will feature the latest and greatest technologies from industry, academia, and government research organizations, many of these technologies making their debut in Austin. Naturally, AMD is excited about SC15 for several reasons.

 

For starters, we’re leading some eye-opening demos, from debugging and profiling HSA applications using AMD tools, to efficient management of hybrid memories, to exploring parallel programming models for heterogeneous computing systems. With our booth hosting numerous demos and a theater area for attendees, you can’t (and shouldn’t) miss us.

 

Beyond our booth, we’re sponsoring the Northeastern University team in Student Cluster Challenge Competition team with AMD Opteron™ processors using Symmetric Computing’s shared memory architecture. AMD Research is meeting with industry experts on ExaScale to discuss supercomputing developments to help drive substantial speed improvements with minimal power increases. And since it wouldn’t be the Supercomputing Conference without some exciting nightlife, we’re sponsoring the Beowulf Bash reception on Monday evening the 16th, complete with a mechanical bull riding contest. With more than 600 people planned to attend, it should be an unforgettable night.

 

Of course there are unique demos and contributions from our partners, too. On Tuesday November 17th, Richard Anderson, CEO of Symmetric Computing, will present on large shared memory and many core HPC. And on Wednesday November 18th, Tim Massey, President of SoftIron, will explain how to develop on ARM64 using AMD and SoftIron solutions. These are just a couple instances of the remarkable HPC innovators and innovations descending on Austin.

 

Clearly, HPC matters – not just to conference participants, but to policymakers and the general public as well. If you’re able to attend to SC15, we recommend it. If not, you can still track the pulse of the HPC community by following the #HPCmatters campaign on Twitter. As the conference progresses, you’ll find a series of high-impact videos showcasing how new approaches and innovations can transform our datacenters, classrooms, homes, and beyond.

 

  • The AMD Server Team

 

DISCLAIMER

Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 

AMD is not responsible for third party content and does not necessarily endorse the comments made herein.

 

©2015 Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. All rights reserved. AMD, the AMD Arrow logo, FirePro, Opteron and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Other product names used in this publication are for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective companies.

 

ARM is a registered trademark of ARM Limited in the UK and other countries.

ben_sander.jpgBen Sander

HSA Software Architect, AMD

 

As you and your team prepare for SC15, what have you been up to since last year’s Supercomputing Conference?

There’s been a lot of advancement. Last year we showcased some initial work on HSA with AMD APU technology. That initial demonstration was all about power efficiency, and it was well received by attendees. But this year, we’re building on previous tools to create a C++ compiler that could have very positive implications across a broad spectrum of computing platforms, from embedded to supercomputing. The goal of this work is to increase compiler stability and support a wider variety of hardware, which could further unlock and simplify a broader range of hardware, both in terms of GPUs and APUs. It’s about achieving greater performance and power efficiency. I can’t share all of the details quite yet, but we have some exciting announcements slated for the conference.

 

Who is AMD working with to develop this?

Our engineers are collaborating with MulticoreWare (MCW) engineers to develop the C++ compiler. Like AMD, MCW is a member of the HSA Foundation, and their Chief Technology Officer, Wen-Mei Hwu, is one of the foremost compiler experts in the world. As you might expect, AMD and MCW working together makes sense to share expertise, and it’s been a great experience.

 

How could this compiler potentially impact different workloads or industries?

There’s broad potential for taking advantage of this compiler technology. Machine learning. Parallel computing. These are a couple areas where this compiler could positively impact HPC. This could also be used across a breadth of industries, such as oil and gas, life sciences, finance. In situations where people are running programs based in C++, this compiler technology could help enable the wider use of devices like AMD FirePro™ GPUs in HPC.

 

What else can SC15 attendees expect from AMD during the conference?

AMD and our technology partners are presenting a variety of innovations, from single developers to enterprise development. Expect a whole host of demos for our AMD FirePro™ products, not to mention some demos on ARM® development, including SoftIron’s Overdrive 3000. If you can attend SC15, I highly recommend it.

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER

Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 

AMD is not responsible for third party content and does not necessarily endorse the comments made herein.

 

©2015 Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. All rights reserved. AMD, the AMD Arrow logo, FirePro, Opteron and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Other product names used in this publication are for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective companies.

 

ARM is a registered trademark of ARM Limited in the UK and other countries.

Logo.jpg

By Mark Papermaster, Senior Vice President and CTO, AMD

 

The streets of downtown Austin, just cleared of music festival attendees and auto racing fans, are now filled with enthusiasts of a different sort. This year the city is host to SC15, the largest event for supercomputing systems and software, and AMD is on site to meet with customers and technology partners.  The hardware is here, of course, including industry-leading AMD FirePro™ graphics and the upcoming AMD Opteron™ A1100 64-bit ARM® processor. However, the big story for AMD at the show this year is the “Boltzmann Initiative”, delivering new software tools to take advantage of the processing power of our products, including those on the future roadmap, like the new “Zen” x86 CPU core coming next year.  Ludwig Boltzmann was a theoretical physicist and mathematician who developed critical formulas for predicting the behavior of different forms of matter. Today, these calculations are central to work done by the scientific and engineering communities we are targeting with these tools.

 

First though, just a quick review of what ties this story together: Heterogeneous Computing. The Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Foundation was created in 2012, with AMD as a founding member, to make it dramatically easier to program heterogeneous computing systems. Heterogeneous computing takes advantage of CPUs, GPUs, and other accelerators such as DSPs and other programmable and fixed-function devices to help increase performance and efficiency with the goal of reduced energy use. The GPU in particular is a critical component since general purpose computing on a GPU (GPGPU) makes large performance gains achievable for certain applications through parallel execution. However, while effectively harnessing the GPU for computing has become easier, AMD is taking a huge leap forward today with the announcement of the Boltzmann Initiative and its three key new tools for developers.

 

The first innovation is our new, heterogeneous compute compiler (HCC) for C++ programming. Over the last several years, it’s been possible to program for GPU compute through the use of OpenCL™, an open industry standard language, or the proprietary CUDA language. Both provide a general-purpose model for data parallelism as well as low-level access to hardware. And while both are significant improvements in both ease and functionality compared to previous methods, they still require unique programming skills. This is a problem because the potential for leveraging the GPU is so great and so diverse. Applications ranging from 3D medical imaging to facial recognition, from climate analysis to human genome mapping can all benefit, to name a few.

 

Ultimately, for heterogeneous computing to become a mainstream reality, these technologies will need to become accessible to a majority of the programmers in the world through more familiar languages such as C++. By creating a logical model where heterogeneous processors fully share system resources such as memory, HSA promises a standard programming model that allows developers to write code that can run seamlessly on whatever processor block is best able to execute it. The idea of matching the right workload to the right processor is compelling and being embraced by many hardware and software companies. The new AMD C++ compiler makes that idea a whole lot easier to execute.

 

Second is our new Linux® driver. While the Windows® operating system is fantastic and supports billions of consumer client devices and commercial servers, Linux is highly popular in technical and scientific communities where collaboration on application development is the traditional model to maximize performance. By making an all new Linux driver available, AMD is helping expand the developer base for heterogeneous computing even further. Important benefits for the programmer of this new, headless Linux driver include low latency compute dispatch, peer-to-peer GPU support, Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) from InfiniBand™ interconnects directly to GPU memory, and Large Single Memory Allocation support. Combined with the new C++ compiler, the Linux driver is a powerful addition to the Boltzmann Initiative.

 

Finally, for applications already developed in CUDA, they can now be ported into C++. This is achieved using the new Heterogeneous-computing Interface for Programmers (HIP) tool that ports CUDA runtime APIs into C++ code. AMD testing shows that in many cases 90 percent or more of CUDA code can be automatically converted into C++ by HIP. The remainder will require manual programming, but this should take a matter of days, not months as before. Once ported, the application could run on a variety of underlying hardware, and enhancements could be made directly through C++. The overall effect would enable greater platform flexibility and reduced development time and cost.

 

The availability of the new C++ compiler, Linux driver and HIP tool means that heterogeneous computing will be available to many more software developers, substantially increasing the pool of programmers. That’s a tremendous amount of brain power that can now create applications that more readily take advantage of the underlying hardware. It also means many more applications can take advantage of parallelism, when applicable, enabling better performance and greater energy efficiency. I encourage you to stop by booth #727 at the Austin Convention Center this week to learn more!

 

Mark Papermaster is Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, AMD. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 

OpenCL and the OpenCL logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. used by permission by Khronos. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the US and other jurisdictions.