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SCHEDULE: NOV 16-21, 2014

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Application Centric Energy-Efficiency Study of Distributed Multi-Core and Hybrid CPU-GPU Systems

SESSION: Power and Energy Efficiency


TIME: 11:00AM - 11:30AM


AUTHOR(S):Ben Cumming, Gilles Fourestey, Oliver Fuhrer, Tobias Gysi, Massimiliano Fatica, Thomas C. Schulthess



We study the energy used by a production-level regional climate and weather simulation code on a distributed memory system with hybrid CPU-GPU nodes. The code is optimised for both processor architectures, for which we investigate both time and energy to solution. Operational constraints for time to solution can be met with both processor types, although on different numbers of nodes. Energy to solution is a factor 3 lower on a GPU-system, but strong scaling can be pushed to larger node counts on the CPU subsystem, yielding better time to solution. Our data shows that an affine relationship exists between energy and node-hours consumed by the simulation. We use this property to devise a simple and practical methodology for optimising for energy efficiency that can be applied to other applications, which we demonstrate with the HPCG benchmark. We conclude with a discussion about the relationship to the commonly-used GF/Watt metric.

Chair/Author Details:

Kirk Cameron (Chair) - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Ben Cumming - Swiss National Supercomputing Center

Gilles Fourestey - Swiss National Supercomputing Center

Oliver Fuhrer - Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss

Tobias Gysi - ETH Zurich

Massimiliano Fatica - NVIDIA Corporation

Thomas C. Schulthess - Swiss National Supercomputing Center

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