Exploring Manycore Architectures for Next-Generation HPC Systems
The raison d’être of high-performance computing (HPC) systems is that they can run advanced application programs with a high degree of efficiency, reliability, and rapidity. However, they are sometimes impeded by the gap between the structure of the application and the underlying computing architecture. Therefore, an efficient HPC system must lend itself to customization so as to match the requirements of the applications that it runs. This is the main pillar of the MANGO project.
Although HPC systems need to fulfill the two important requisites of enhancing performance and power efficiency, a third aspect is gaining ascendency because of the emergence of a new class of HPC applications that demand new non-functional requirements. These include requirements such as time-predictability and Quality-of-Service (QoS). Researches on this aspect of HPC applications are limited, which has left a lacuna in HPC systems.
However, the MANGO project has already made significant contributions in that arena, thus moving rapidly toward the next-generation HPC systems. The project works on the principle that the efficacy of HPC systems will be augmented by matching computing resources to applications and underlying algorithms, simultaneously ensuring energy efficiency. The project has the following goals (as elucidated by José Flich of the Universitat Politècnica de València):
Develop a flexible prototype for rapid exploration of architectures
Explore new heterogeneous many-core architectures
Provide real-time support exploring the PPP design space
Provide a unified and simple (homogeneous) access to the system via a smart interconnect
Adapt programming models and compiler support to the new architectures
Develop the right resource manager to deal with the system
Provide new monitoring tools to the system
Provide new cooling techniques to the system
Analyze impact on a set of real applications such as video transcoding, medical imaging, and security and surveillance applications
The consortium at the heart of the MANGO project includes EPFL, Pro Design Electronic GmbH, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (University of Zagreb), Centro Regionale Information Communication Technology, Eaton Corporation, Universitat Politècnica de València, the Thales Group, and Philips.