SC is the International Conference for
 High Performnance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis

SCHEDULE: NOV 13-19, 2010

Exploiting 162-Nanosecond End-to-End Communication Latency on Anton

SESSION: Communication-Centric Computing

EVENT TYPE: Paper, Best Paper (BP) Finalist

TIME: 3:30PM - 4:00PM

SESSION CHAIR: Thilo Kielmann

AUTHOR(S):Ron O. Dror, J.P. Grossman, Kenneth M. Mackenzie, Brian Towles, Edmond Chow, John K. Salmon, Cliff Young, Joseph A. Bank, Brannon Batson, Martin M. Deneroff, Jeffrey S. Kuskin, Richard H. Larson, Mark A. Moraes, David E. Shaw


Strong scaling of scientific applications on parallel architectures is increasingly limited by communication latency. This paper describes the techniques used to mitigate latency in Anton, a massively parallel special-purpose machine that accelerates molecular dynamics (MD) simulations by orders of magnitude compared with the previous state of the art. Achieving this speedup required a combination of hardware mechanisms and software constructs to reduce network latency, sender and receiver overhead, and synchronization costs. Key elements of Anton’s approach, in addition to tightly integrated communication hardware, include formulating data transfer in terms of counted remote writes, leveraging fine-grained communication, and establishing fixed, optimized communication patterns. Anton delivers software-to-software inter-node latency significantly lower than any other large-scale parallel machine, and the total critical-path communication time for an Anton MD simulation is less than 4% that of the next fastest MD platform.

Chair/Author Details:

Thilo Kielmann (Chair) - Vrije Universiteit

Ron O. Dror - D.E. Shaw Research

J.P. Grossman - D.E. Shaw Research

Kenneth M. Mackenzie - D.E. Shaw Research

Brian Towles - D.E. Shaw Research

Edmond Chow - D.E. Shaw Research

John K. Salmon - D.E. Shaw Research

Cliff Young - D.E. Shaw Research

Joseph A. Bank - D.E. Shaw Research

Brannon Batson - D.E. Shaw Research

Martin M. Deneroff - D.E. Shaw Research

Jeffrey S. Kuskin - D.E. Shaw Research

Richard H. Larson - D.E. Shaw Research

Mark A. Moraes - D.E. Shaw Research

David E. Shaw - D.E. Shaw Research / Columbia University

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The full paper can be found in the ACM Digital Library and IEEE Computer Society

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