Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Unique software speeds calculations on one of world’s fastest supercomputers, other applications

17.11.2003


Ohio State University software is helping some of the world’s fastest supercomputers confront big scientific questions, from global climate change to the structure of intricate molecules.


Dhabaleswar Panda



The software, called MVAPICH, works by connecting traditional supercomputing software with innovative networking technology that speeds data flow.

While supercomputers were once built only as large-scale mainframe structures that were extremely expensive -- some costing tens to hundreds of millions of dollars -- a different kind of supercomputer based on clusters of many desktop-style computers has become more common in recent years, explained Dhabaleswar Panda, professor of computer and information science at Ohio State and leader of the MVAPICH research team.


Yet complicated scientific visualizations, such as the flow of gas molecules in Earth’s atmosphere -- a critical resource for scientists studying climate change -- pose a substantial problem for cluster computing. That’s because individual computers, called nodes, must compute in a parallel manner while sending much information back and forth to each other.

“At some point, adding nodes to a cluster doesn’t make the calculations go any faster, because it introduces communication and synchronization overheads, and researchers have to rely on software to manage communication between nodes effectively,” Panda said. “MVAPICH takes that software a step further by connecting it with the emerging InfiniBand network technology.”

Most notably, Ohio State’s MVAPICH supports Virginia Tech’s innovative Macintosh-based supercomputer, which is expected to rank third on the list of the world’s top 500 fastest supercomputers Sunday at the Supercomputing Conference 2003 in Phoenix.

Another collaboration with computer chip maker Intel and leading InfiniBand developer Mellanox Technologies, Inc, of Santa Clara, California, is opening the Ohio State software to further applications in research and business. These companies have used MVAPICH to enable calculations on an off-the-shelf supercomputer that is capable of performing teraflop-level computing, or trillions of calculations per second. Intel calls-the system TOTS, for “TeraFlop-Off-the-Shelf,” and it will debut in the exhibition hall of the supercomputing conference.

Panda believes that the development of TOTS is leading to a new era of commodity systems when research labs and commercial companies with smaller budgets can benefit from supercomputing technology. MVAPICH helps to make that happen, he said.

MVAPICH bridges the gap between the traditional message passing interface (MPI) -- the software that manages communication between nodes on a supercomputer -- and the InfiniBand technology.

InfiniBand, short for “infinite bandwidth,” is a new networking architecture standard that was developed by an industry consortium to support high performance computing systems, including supercomputers.

Until Panda and Pete Wyckoff, research scientist at the Ohio Supercomputer Center, developed MVAPICH in 2002, InfiniBand and MPI were hopelessly incompatible, Panda said.

The name MVAPICH is short for “MPI for InfiniBand on VAPI Layer.” VAPI refers to the VAPI software interface developed by Mellanox. MVAPICH is pronounced like “em-vah-peach.”

Since 2002, more than 65 organizations world-wide have downloaded the open source MVAPICH code to develop applications. One of the first was Sandia National Laboratory, which recently used MVAPICH to power a large-scale (128-node) supercomputer. A similar project at Los Alamos National Laboratory involves a 256-node supercomputer.

“These projects at national labs are important, because they show that our software can scale up from small applications to large,” Panda said. At Ohio State, Panda had previously tested the software on an 8-node and 16-node cluster.

Builders of supercomputers and modern clusters can visit Panda’s Web site to download the source code for MVAPICH and work with Ohio State to develop new applications (http://nowlab.cis.ohio-state.edu/projects/mpi-iba/).

This is not the first time work from Ohio State and the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) garnered a ranking on the top 500 list. On the current top 500 list, OSC’s cluster ranks 180.

In addition to Ohio State’s collaboration, the Virginia Tech project included collaborations from Apple Computer, Cisco, Liebert, and Mellanox.

The primary funding for Ohio State to develop MVAPICH came from Sandia National Laboratory, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation. Intel provided partial funding, and Mellanox donated InfiniBand network adapters and switches to the project.

#

Contact: Dhabaleswar Panda, (614) 292-5199; Panda.2@osu.edu
Written by Pam Frost Gorder, (614) 292-9475; Gorder.1@osu.edu

Pam Frost Gorder | Ohio State University
Further information:
http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/mvapich.htm
http://nowlab.cis.ohio-state.edu/projects/mpi-iba/
http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/%7Epanda/

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world
18.05.2017 | RMIT University

nachricht Internet of things made simple: One sensor package does work of many
11.05.2017 | Carnegie Mellon University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supercomputing helps researchers understand Earth's interior

23.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

Study identifies RNA molecule that shields breast cancer stem cells from immune system

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>