The demand for even faster, more effective, and also energy-saving computer clusters is growing in every sector. The new asynchronous programming model GPI might become a key building block towards realizing the next generation of supercomputers.
High-performance computing is one of the key technologies for numerous applications that we have come to take for granted – everything from Google searches to weather forecasting and climate simulation to bioinformatics requires an ever increasing amount of computing ressources. Big data analysis additionally is driving the demand for even faster, more effective, and also energy-saving computer clusters. The Message Passing Interface (MPI) ensures that the microprocessors in the distributed systems can communicate. For some time now, however, it has been reaching the limits of its capability. “I was trying to solve a calculation and simulation problem related to seismic data,” says Dr. Carsten Lojewski from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM. “But existing methods weren’t working. The problems were a lack of scalability, the restriction to bulk-synchronous, two-sided communication, and the lack of fault tolerance. So out of my own curiosity I began to develop a new programming model.” This development work ultimately resulted in the Global Address Space Programming Interface – or GPI – which uses the parallel architecture of high-performance computers with maximum efficiency.