Title page for ETD etd-12142010-151116

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Shalf, John Marshall
Author's Email Address jshalf@lbl.gov
URN etd-12142010-151116
Title Advanced System-Scale and Chip-Scale Interconnection Networks for Ultrascale Systems
Degree Master of Engineering
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Athanas, Peter M. Committee Chair
Feng, Wu-Chun Committee Member
Midkiff, Scott F. Committee Member
  • energy efficiency
  • manycore
  • exascale
  • interconnects
  • NoC
  • photonics
Date of Defense 2010-12-14
Availability unrestricted
The path towards realizing next-generation petascale and exascale computing is increasingly dependent on building supercomputers with unprecedented numbers of processors. Given the rise of multicore processors, the number of network endpoints both on-chip and off-chip is growing exponentially, with systems in 2018 anticipated to contain thousands of processing elements on-chip and billions of processing elements system-wide. To prevent the interconnect from dominating the overall cost of future systems, there is a critical need for scalable interconnects that capture the communication requirements of target ultrascale applications. It is therefore essential to understand high-end application communication characteristics across a broad spectrum of computational methods, and utilize that insight to tailor interconnect designs to the specific requirements of the

underlying codes. This work makes several unique contributions towards attaining that goal. First, the communication traces for a number of high-end application communication requirements, whose computational methods include: finite-difference, lattice-Boltzmann, particle-in-cell, sparse linear algebra, particle mesh ewald, and FFT-based solvers.

This thesis presents an introduction to the fit-tree approach for designing network infrastructure that is tailored to application requirements. A fit-tree minimizes the component count of an interconnect without impacting application performance compared to a fully connected network. The last section introduces a methodology for reconfigurable networks to implement fit-tree solutions called Hybrid Flexibly Assignable Switch Topology (HFAST). HFAST uses both passive (circuit) and active (packet) commodity switch components in a unique way to dynamically reconfigure interconnect wiring to suit the topological requirements of scientific applications. Overall the exploration points to several promising directions for practically addressing both the on-chip and off-chip interconnect requirements of future ultrascale systems.

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