Opportunities and Challenges for Accelerated Network Interfaces in HPC

The emergence of more sophisticated computing capabilities in network interfaces through general-purpose processors, programmable logic, or custom accelerators has the potential to accelerate high-performance computing workloads. Recent enhancements to the Portals network programming interface have been proposed to take advantage of these new technologies and provide the ability to offload a wide range of functionality to support higher-level data transfer layers, applications, as well as system services. This talk will describe these recent enhancements and offer a perspective on challenges and some potential solutions for taking full advantage of intelligent network interfaces for high-performance computing.

Ron Brightwell leads the Scalable System Software Department at Sandia National Laboratories. After joining Sandia in 1995, he was a key contributor to the high-performance interconnect software and lightweight operating system for the world’s first terascale system, the Intel ASCI Red machine. He was also part of the team responsible for the high-performance interconnect and lightweight operating system for the Cray Red Storm machine, which was the prototype for Cray’s successful XT product line. The impact of his interconnect research is visible in technologies available today from Atos (Bull), Intel, and Mellanox. He has also contributed to the development of the MPI-2 and MPI-3 specifications. He has authored more than 115 peer-reviewed journal, conference, and workshop publications. He has served on the technical program and organizing committees for numerous high-performance and parallel computing conferences, and is a Senior Member of the IEEE and the ACM.