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Absoft Announces HPC Development Kits for Parallel Apps


Absoft Corp. announced at SC'05 in Seattle new additions to its family of High Performance Software Development Kits. The Absoft High Performance Computing Software Development Kits (HPC SDK) are complete development solutions that allow software developers to compile, run, debug and optimize high performance software applications on clusters, Grids and multiprocessor/multi-core systems built using 64-bit Intel Xeon and IBM POWER processors. The Absoft SDKs are the only HPC software development toolkits available today, and are offered exclusively by Absoft for systems running Linux, OS X, and soon, for Microsoft Windows Compute Cluster Solution (CCS).

Each HPC SDK includes software development tools optimized for 64-bit extensions and is preconfigured for easy installation. Every SDK includes Fortran and C/C++ compilers, debuggers, math libraries, pre-built message passing (MPI) libraries and other development tools. Also included are a comprehensive set of example HPC programs to help new users quickly learn how to take full advantage of the HPC SDK features on their cluster, Grid, multiprocessor or multi-core system. Every HPC SDK comes with 12 months of continuing maintenance for all included components. The HPC SDK from Absoft combines tools from multiple vendors to provide customers with a best-of-class solution.

"We have been using your SDK for just over 6 months now and we have never had a better suite of compilers and tools. The HPC SDK on POWER delivers ease of installation and usage, high performance, flexibility, and reliability that is unsurpassed on the Linux ppc64 platform. Using the HPC SDK Enhanced Edition with its innovative and comprehensive compiler, debugger and development technologies has allowed researchers at the University of Oregon's Neuroinformatics Center to improve their application performance and has streamlined our development process dramatically. We have used the SDK in neuroscience software development, including EEG signal processing and computational head modeling. In addition, we are applying the suite in our parallel performance tools research and development as part of the TAU Performance System project. In our experience, the HPC SDK Enhanced Edition for IBM Linux on POWER has required the lowest maintenance overhead combined with the best feature set for our ppc64 Linux development platforms. The compilers are robust, the parallel libraries are well integrated," said Allen Malony, director of the Neuroinformatics Center at the University of Oregon.

Absoft announced the following new HPC SDK versions along with additional high performance tools:

  • HPC SDK Basic Edition 2.0 for 64-bit Intel Xeon.
  • HPC SDK Enhanced Edition 1.0 for 64-bit Intel Xeon.
  • Intel VTune Performance Analyzer.
  • Intel Thread Checker.
  • HPC SDK Basic Edition 2.0 for IBM Power.
  • HPC SDK Enhanced Edition 1.0 for IBM Power.
  • IBM High Performance Computing Toolkit for IBM Power.
  • IBM FDPR-Pro post-compilation optimization tool for feedback-directed program restructuring.

"Absoft continues to expand our comprehensive, exclusive line of SDK solutions for high performance software application developers. As seen by our customers' testimonials, the Absoft HPC SDKs are innovative toolkits which provide excellent value," said Jeff Livesay, Absoft chief operating officer. "We are experiencing increasing traction in this exciting growth market and have many new powerful tools now shipping or soon to be available. Absoft is listening to HPC customers' expression of their needs and providing the complete, commercially-supported solution bundles to meet those needs."

The HPC SDK Basic Edition 2.0 for 64-bit Intel Xeon processor-based servers and clusters running is updated with compilers and libraries from Intel including C++ and Fortran 9.0 compilers, Intel MPI, and Intel Cluster Math Kernel Library 8.0. This HPC SDK also includes updated LAM/MPI and new Absoft examples and benchmarks.

The HPC SDK Basic Edition 2.0 for 64-bit Intel Xeon processor-based servers and clusters running Linux fully supports the recently announced IBM Grid and Grow hardware and services offering. This Grid computing support makes it easier for companies of all sizes to build and deploy affordable and efficient Grid computing IT operations.

"The IBM Grid and Grow solution based on the 64-bit Intel Xeon processor provides end users a cost-effective foundation for a low-risk quick-start deployment of Grid technology. And, the close collaboration between IBM, Intel Corp. and Absoft resulted in a 64-bit Intel Xeon processor-based HPC SDK, which makes it easy for companies, small and large to use the Grid and Grow foundation to build applications that are solid and high performing," said Robert Fogel, director of worldwide Grid strategy and business development at Intel. "The combination of the Grid and Grow foundation plus the applications developed with the Absoft SDK delivers an innovative and scalable IT solution that can deliver high-impact business value."

The HPC SDK Enhanced Edition 1.0 for 64-bit Intel Xeon processor-based servers and clusters running Linux includes all of the features of the popular HPC SDK for Intel Xeon systems with additional tools from Intel, including, VTune Performance Analyzer to easily streamline code and Thread Checker for OpenMP debugging support. Also included are open source tools such as Marmot, an MPI diagnostic tool. Future versions of the Enhanced Edition of the HPC SDK will feature the FxP parallel MPI debugger from Absoft.

The updated HPC SDK Basic Edition 2.0 for Linux on IBM Power processor-based servers and clusters running Linux receives many additions, such as IBM's XL C/C++ V8.0, IBM's XL Fortran V10.1 compilers, and the Engineering Scientific Subroutine Library (ESSL). This HPC SDK also includes updated LAM/MPI and MPICH2, and new Absoft examples and benchmarks.

Introduced at the inaugural GridWorld Conference in Boston, this HPC SDK has been specifically designed to work with the IBM Grid and Grow hardware and services offering. IBM Grid and Grow is a powerful solution designed to help organizations get started quickly with affordable Grid computing.

The HPC SDK Enhanced Edition 1.0 for Linux on IBM Power processor-based servers and clusters running Linux includes all of the features of the Basic Edition with the addition of powerful tools from IBM, including the IBM FDPR-Pro tool and the IBM High Performance Computing Toolkit. See the following sections for descriptions of these tools.

The FDPR-Pro tool, developed by the IBM Haifa Research Lab, uses Feedback Directed Program Restructuring to achieve performance gains of anywhere from 5 percent, 10 percent or more for software applications that have already been compiled and linked. FDPR-Pro for Linux on Power is a post-link utility for improving the performance applications that were compiled for the Linux operating system running on Power family platforms.

The tool receives input files in XCOFF format, instruments them, executes them for profiling information, and then optimizes them to achieve:

  • Better hit/miss i-cache ratio.
  • Reduced number of branches.
  • Reduced number of TLB misses.
  • Reduced number of page-faults.

The FDPR-Pro tool for Linux on IBM Power handles very large executables (such as an Oracle database application) and shared libraries.

The FDPR-Pro application optimization tool is included in the HPC SDK Enhanced Edition 1.0 for IBM Linux on Power and is also offered as a standalone product. FDPR-Pro will be generally available exclusively from Absoft in the first quarter of 2006.

The IBM High Performance Computing Toolkit (HPCT), developed at the Advanced Computing Technology Center (ACTC), part of IBM's T.J. Watson Research Laboratory is a suite of performance-related tools and libraries to assist in application tuning. This toolkit is an integrated environment for performance analysis of sequential and parallel applications using the MPI and OpenMP paradigms. It provides a common framework for a number of IBM systems offerings, including IBM eServer pSeries systems. The IBM HPCT includes tools for:

  • Hardware Performance.
  • Shared Memory Performance.
  • Message-Passing Performance.
  • Performance Visualization.

"We use the IBM HPC Toolkit at NERSC, and find it to be invaluable in understanding the performance behavior of our applications on our IBM pSeries systems" according to David Skinner, HPC senior applications specialist at NERSC. "We especially like the Toolkit's ability to trace back the performance data to the actual source code statements of our applications in the highly intuitive and visual framework."

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