The reports below highlight some of the research carried out on ARCHER and ARCHER2 by the ARCHER2 CSE Team.


Emerging technologies: an AMD MI250X GPU-based platform for HPC applications

Supporting AMD MI250X GPU-based platforms for HPC.

At EPCC, we have experience of providing support to users of NVIDIA V100/A100 GPUs that exist on various Tier-2 HPC systems. However, until now, we have had little knowledge of how to support the use of AMD GPUs, specifically, the AMD Instinct MI200 series of accelerators.

We felt it was necessary to address this shortcoming given that our Tier-1 HPC system, ARCHER2, is built on AMD processors. Furthermore, the top Cray EX supercomputers available today (Fontier and El Capitan) feature AMD acclerator technology. And so, after gaining access to suitable hardware, we conducted an evaluation exercise in order to assess how easily EPCC support staff could, when dealing with AMD GPUs, undertake typical HPC support activities, such as training, code compilation/debugging and code profiling/benchmarking.

This details of this evaluation can be found in the attached report.

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DoI: 10.5281/zenodo.7752810

Parallel IO on ARCHER2 disk image

Parallel IO on ARCHER2

File input and output can become bottlenecks for parallel programs running on large numbers of processors. In this work we investigate how to increase the MPI-IO performance on ARCHER2, the UK National HPC service, using the Cray Lustre lockahead options which have not been previously investigated on this system. We then investigate the performance of ADIOS2, a more modern parallel IO library, and look at the performance of IO from a real HPC application rather than a synthetic benchmark.

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DoI: 10.5281/zenodo.7643563

Rust in HPC Logo

Emerging Technologies: Rust in HPC

This technical report is a short investigation into how Rust could be used for a scientific application in a HPC system. A computational fluid dynamics model of fluid flow into and out of a box was developed in Rust and compared to the same algorithm implemented in C and Fortran. These simulations were performed for both serial and parallelised versions over a variety of problem sizes. The report discusses the results of these simulations and the implications for using Rust as a tool for scientific programming in HPC.

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DoI: 10.5281/zenodo.7620406

Hybrid Tasks Logo

Hybrid parallel programming with tasks

This technical report is an introduction to using a hybrid parallel programming model that combines MPI with OmpSs or OpenMP dependent tasks. This model allows both computation and communication to be expressed using a coarse-grained dataflow approach, which helps to remove most of the unnecessary ordering constraints and intranode synchronisation imposed by the more conventional approach of MPI with OpenMP parallel loops. The report describes the model, and how it is supported by an augmented MPI library which interoperates with the tasking runtimes. It also assesses some of the advantages and disadvantages of this style of parallel programming. 

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DoI: 10.5281/zenodo.7524540

HPC JEEP Job Efficiency and Energy Usage

HPC-JEEP: Energy Usage on ARCHER2 and the DiRAC COSMA HPC services

This report presents an analysis of the energy use by software and research communities on two large UK national HPC services: ARCHER2 (the UK national supercomputing service) and DiRAC COSMA (part of the DiRAC national HPC service). The work was done as part of the HPC-JEEP project funded as part of the UKRI Net Zero DRI Scoping Project.
Image credit : Net Zero Digital Research Infrastructure Scoping project

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DoI: 10.5281/zenodo.7137390