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Design and implementation of message-passing services for the Blue Gene/L supercomputer

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13 Author(s)
Almasi, G. ; IBM Research Division, Thomas J. Watson Research Center, P.O. Box 218, Yorktown Heights, New York 10598, USA ; Archer, C. ; Castanos, J.G. ; Gunnels, J.A.
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The Blue Gene®/L (BG/L) supercomputer, with 65,536 dual-processor compute nodes, was designed from the ground up to support efficient execution of massively parallel message-passing programs. Part of this support is an optimized implementation of the Message Passing Interface (MPI), which leverages the hardware features of BG/L. MPI for BG/L is implemented on top of a more basic message-passing infrastructure called the message layer. This message layer can be used both to implement other higher-level libraries and directly by applications. MPI and the message layer are used in the two BG/L modes of operation: the coprocessor mode and the virtual node mode. Performance measurements show that our message-passing services deliver performance close to the hardware limits of the machine. They also show that dedicating one of the processors of a node to communication functions (coprocessor mode) greatly improves the message-passing bandwidth, whereas running two processes per compute node (virtual node mode) can have a positive impact on application performance.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Journal of Research and Development  (Volume:49 ,  Issue: 2.3 )

Date of Publication:

March 2005

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