Energy efficiency is becoming a principal driving factor of developments in High Performance Computing (HPC). An emerging trend is the application of technology from embedded computing for HPC systems.
For example, processors developed for the smartphone and tablet markets now deliver GFLOPS of performance and higher performance per Watt than even the densest servers. With these architectures evolving to support 64-bit memory models, ECC on memories, and even powerful SIMD/vector instruction sets and GPGPU-like programming models such as OpenCL, the time is right for this emergent community to come together and explore where coordination can lead to accelerated progress.
Many challenges remain before the HPC community can benefit from the energy efficient technology developed for the high volume consumer electronics space. In particular, much of the HPC software stack is different from that required for consumer electronics and so does not yet exist for embedded processors. Examples of software required for HPC but not consumer electronics include Fortran compilers, communications libraries such as MPI and optimised math libraries such as BLAS and LAPACK.
The HPC community has already started to address these problems, and in a Birds of a Feather (BOF) session at SuperComputing 2011 (Seattle, Nov 14-18th, 2011) many of the pioneers in Energy Efficient HPC are coming together, to learn of the achievements already made in this space, and discuss the best way forward to address the remaining challenges.
The EEHPC inaugural birds of a feather at SC'11 includes talks from some of the major players in this important area, including: Dr Krisztian Flautner, ARM's Vice President of Research and Development; Dr Jack Dongarra, who has recently been investigating the energy efficiency of BLAS and LAPACK; Dr Thomas Ludwig, organiser of the Energy-Aware HPC conference series and director of DKRZ in Germany; and a representative from Calxeda, one of the server companies starting to build products based on embedded processors such as the Intel Atom, ARM or MIPS. Representatives from many other research or industrial projects already underway in EEHPC will also be present at the BOF.
By kick-starting this new community we hope to discover and promote what work has already begun in this space, and provide a forum for the emerging community to communicate their results and meet new collaborators. We also hope to analyse the map of ongoing research in the use of energy-efficient embedded processors for HPC, and establish where important gaps remain. Our goal is to apply this knowledge to coordinate future efforts and thus enable the wider HPC community to more quickly exploit this disruptive technology.
Welcome to EEHPC.com, the new, community website for researchers and developers in academia and industry applying technology from the embedded space to high performance computing.
With energy efficiency becoming one of the most important driving factors behind future performance improvements, Energy Efficient High Performance Computing (EEHPC) is a rapidly growing area of interest. This community website is a place for anyone working in this field to come together and share ideas.