New UCX Network Communication Framework for Next-Gen Programming Models

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ucxToday Mellanox announced a collaboration with the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), IBM, the University of Tennessee, NVIDIA, and industry leaders, laboratories and academia to develop a new open-source network communication framework called UCX for high-performance and data-centric applications.

The path to Exascale, in addition to many other challenges, requires programming models where communications and computations unfold together, collaborating instead of competing for the underlying resources. In such an environment, providing holistic access to the hardware is a major component of any programming model or communication library. With UCX, we have the opportunity to provide not only a vehicle for production quality software, but also a low-level research infrastructure for more flexible and portable support for the Exascale-ready programming models,” adds George Bosilca, Research Director at the Innovative Computing Laboratory, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Traditionally there have been three popular mainstream communication frameworks to support various interconnect technologies and programming languages: MXM, developed by Mellanox Technologies; PAMI, developed by IBM; and UCCS, developed by ORNL, the University of Houston, and the University of Tennessee. UCX will unify the strengths and capabilities of each of these communication libraries and optimize them into one unified communication framework that delivers essential building blocks for the development of a high-performance communication ecosystem.

As we drive towards next generation, larger scale systems, the UCX project enables the research needed for emergent exascale programming models that are agnostic to the underlying interconnect and acceleration technology,” said Dr. Arthur Bernard Maccabe, division director, Computer Science and Mathematics Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

In this slidecast, Pavel Shamis from ORNL and Gilad Shainer from Mellanox announce the UCX Unified Communication X Framework.

Mellanox is very happy to participate in the co-design efforts of the UCX project. By providing our advancements in shared memory, MPI and underlying network transport technologies, we can continue to advance open standards-based networking and programming models.” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “UCX will provide optimizations for lower software overhead in communication paths that will allow cross platform near native-level interconnect performance. The framework interface will expose semantics that target not only HPC programming models, but data-centric applications as well. It will also enable vendor independent development of the library.

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