Heterogeneous Computing: A New Paradigm for the Exascale Era

(Last Updated On: November 30, 2011)

Heterogenous Computing for quant development: A New Paradigm for the Exascale Era

In a freshly published report, industry analyst firm IDC argues that the fastest path to this exaflop milestone is through heterogeneous designs. They state that x86 processors will not be enough to meet the performance and…




I didn’t think the leap to heterogeneous designs was a particular surprise, but wasn’t sure if it only applied to the hardware side in the article (I haven’t read the full PDF). It’s not uncommon to have clusters split into subsets and also have different schedulers, etc, running for differing reasons (seen this a few times).



I have scanned through the document. IDC is fearlessly predicting what has already happened.



I agree, that HPC heterogeneous computing is already available. With 35 computers in the www.top500.org using accelerators, the trend is seriously starting.
Nevertheless it is currently challenged by homogeneous many-core computing like K machine or Sunway in China.

Event traditional X86 processors start to be available with 16 cores and trends shows that 4 cores CPU was last year and 2012 will certainly be the time for 6 cores CPU.
It is clear that many-core challenge is here and people have to get ready for it.

Current GPU architectures are really a good way to prepare for the massive many-core. They are already architecture with above 500 cores. And as the article suggests, this may be the fastest way to Exascale.

What software development people should understand with such report is that they should adapt. And by adapting I mean be sure that the development process they used allows reaching the functionality expected while thinking carefully about maintainability and performance.
Many companies, developing their own applications are already facing trouble due to sequential programming when trying to run on new systems based on many-core homogeneous CPU. They should start adapting the source code and development methodology to secure homogeneous scaling on the short term (Now) and heterogeneous scaling in a short future.

HPC is showing Digital Manufacturing and HPBC the way to go. You should prepare yourself.




It’s not particularly news.




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