Mont-Blanc to Prep for Exascale at SC13

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The Mont-Blanc project plans to exhibit at SC13 in Denver. With a mission to design a new type of Exascale computer architecture that uses 30 times less energy, Mont-Blanc will share space with the DEEP and Cresta European Exascale projects.

A Mont-Blanc technical paper has been accepted to the SC13 technical program, entitled: Supercomputing with Commodity CPUs: Are Mobile SoCs Ready for HPC?.

In the late 1990s, powerful economic forces led to the adoption of commodity desktop processors in high-performance computing. This transformation has been so effective that the June 2013 TOP500 list is still dominated by x86. In 2013, the largest commodity market in computing is not PCs or servers, but mobile computing, comprising smartphones and tablets, most of which are built with ARM-based SoCs. This leads to the suggestion that once mobile SoCs deliver sufficient performance, mobile SoCs can help reduce the cost of HPC. This paper addresses this question in detail. We analyze the trend in mobile SoC performance, comparing it with the similar trend in the 1990s. We also present our experience evaluating performance and efficiency of mobile SoCs, deploying a cluster and evaluating the network and scalability of production applications. In summary, we give a first answer as to whether mobile SoCs are ready for HPC.

A tutorial on Asynchronous Hybrid and Heterogeneous Parallel Programming with MPI/OmpSs will also be part of the SC13 program.