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HPC - High Performance Productivity Computing and Future Computational Systems: A Research Engineer’s Perspective. Dr. Robert C. Singleterry Jr. NASA Langley Research Center HPC User Event October 30 th , 2010. Outline. What is an Engineer’s Job High Performance Computing

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HPC - High Performance Productivity Computing and Future Computational Systems: A Research Engineer’s Perspective

Dr. Robert C. Singleterry Jr.

NASA Langley Research Center

HPC User Event

October 30th, 2010

outline
Outline
  • What is an Engineer’s Job
  • High Performance Computing
  • High Performance Computation?
  • High Productivity Computation
  • Future of Computation
  • Summary
what is an engineer s job
What is an Engineer’s Job
  • Example: Space Radiation Engineer
    • Keep astronauts safe (<3% excess fatal cancer)
    • Predict, measure, analyze space exposure
    • Research what to predict, measure, and analyze
  • Things to Consider
    • Materials
    • Vehicle design
    • Human biology
    • Electronic design and operation
    • Mass, cost, and feasibility
    • Physics, chemistry, mathematics
    • Computational aspects
high performance computing
High Performance Computing
  • Utilization of computers to solve a problem
    • Enable the fastest execution of a computer program to get an answer (usually LINPACK)
    • Time spent optimizing computer program to computer hardware (not counted in above)
    • Usually one algorithm based somewhat in first principles science with appropriate mathematical approximations
    • Computer hardware and algorithm usually not highly compatible unless written especially for that hardware (CM-2 versus x86 cluster code)
    • Can be very labor intensive and expensive but not counted in the performance calculation
high performance computation
High Performance Computation?
  • Analysis of (space radiation example)
    • Materials (carbon or aluminum)
    • Vehicle designs (runabout or capsule)
    • Human biology (shielding or pharmaceuticals)
    • Electronic designs (shielding or resistance)
    • Mission (cost and integrated performance)
    • Basic science parameters
  • Each analysis is not a single algorithm that fits a single hardware architecture
  • Can be linked to analyze an astronaut’s trip but what is most important to this process?
high performance computation1
High Performance Computation?
  • Creativity, analysis, and humans
    • Ex: Vehicle design
      • Creativity of what it looks like and how it operates
      • Objectives of mission planners
      • Requirements generation from engineers
      • CAD creation of human ideas and objectives
      • Analysis for space radiation protection (and others!)
      • Iterate until all requirements are met
  • High Performance Computation is a small part of this entire task
high productivity computation
High Productivity Computation
  • Different than high performance computing!
  • How can the computer, as a tool, increase productivity in completing tasks?
  • First Question: computer?
    • Can 1 computer or computer architecture solve all computational needs? Probably not!
  • Second Question: Do the varied algorithms needed fit the hardware available? No!
  • Third Question: Will the computer be operated for needed throughput? Depends!
  • So what happens next?
future of computation
Future of Computation
  • Caveat: Predictions more than 3 to 5 years in the computer field are subjective at best
  • By 2016, NASA should have a million powerful and tightly coupled cores (x86?) in its main computer system
  • IBM is looking at 10-100 million cell phone cores to get exa-scale computing soon
  • Floating point operations is what is needed
  • What could be in the future?
    • This opinion is highly debatable by the way!!!
future of computation1
Future of Computation
  • Compiler and compiler tools to help generate code that will fit the computer
    • Better language
    • Better distributed memory utilization
    • Better floating point throughput (10-10000000x)
  • Research algorithms to better fit the computer architecture
    • Cellular automata to replace finite elements
    • Hybrid Monte Carlo and deterministic methods
  • Key word: BETTER and not perfect
    • Don’t need 100% utilization of the computer
    • Better utilization than what is available now
future of computation2
Future of Computation
  • Last, but not least: Computer Operations
    • A time share machine?
    • A capability machine?
    • Multiple machines?
    • Is a desktop is faster than a cluster?
  • Coherent strategy for computation needed by the organization to fit the work being done by the scientists and engineers
  • Flexibility of the strategy to meet needs
    • New computers
    • New algorithms
summary
Summary
  • PRODUCTIVITY over PERFORMANCE
  • Coherent computational strategy to match user needs: engineers, operations, research
  • Better
    • Language
    • Distributed memory utilization
    • Floating point throughput
    • Algorithms to fit architecture
    • Computer operations to fit user needs
  • Ease of use of computers to fit overall tasks
    • Computers are just one of many tools utilized