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 NASA CubeSat to test miniaturized weather satellite technology
10.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht New approach uses light instead of robots to assemble electronic components
08.11.2017 | The Optical Society

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final cryogenic testing

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New catalyst controls activation of a carbon-hydrogen bond

21.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>