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 Supercomputing the emergence of material behavior
18.05.2018 | University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center

nachricht Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss
18.05.2018 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>