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Adding an Expressway to Accelerate the Neighborhood Communication

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5 Author(s)
Kai Wang ; Nat. Res. Center for Intell. Comput. Syst., Chinese Acad. of Sci., Beijing, China ; Fei Chen ; Zheng Cao ; Xuejun An
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The blade system is very popular in high performance computing. In a blade system, the blade is a fundamental element in which are symmetric multi-processors (SMP). About ten blades constitute a blade box, several blade boxes constitute a cabinet and some cabinets constitute a blade system at last. The blades in a blade box are neighbors because they have relatively short distance. Programmers always try to place the tightly related processes into the same blade box. However, there's seldom any optimization made by hardware to accelerate the communication in a blade box. Thus, a single chip design called hyper-node controller is presented to provide ultra low latency and high bandwidth which resembles an expressway between neighbors. All the nodes in a blade box can act as a single hyper node by using the hyper-node controller. It is apparent that the additional controller is a useful supplement to efficiently enhance the communication in a blade box and finally enhance the entire blade system. A FPGA prototype of the hyper-node controller has been implemented and it can connect five blades simultaneously. In the preliminary performance evaluation, the latency for an 8-byte payload between two blades is less than 1us, 1.33GB/s which is nearly 94% of the peak effective bandwidth can be obtained by transferring messages with a payload of only 256 bytes.

Published in:

High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC), 2010 12th IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

1-3 Sept. 2010