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Accelerating Communication-Intensive Applications via Novel Data Compression Techniques, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Processor speed has traditionally grown at a rate faster than that of communication speed in computer and supercomputer networks, and it is expected that this trend will continue even stronger, as we move into the exascale age in the upcoming decade. This has resulted in what is known as the "communication gap" for communication-bound HPC applications: their communication-to-computation time-ratio is so large, that the processors remain mostly sub-utilized, with lots of "disposable" FLOPS available. In the last few years, scientists have proposed to use these disposable FLOPS (which otherwise would be wasted idling) to compress and decompress the communicated data so to effectively speed up the underlying application. Although the idea bears tremendous potential, efforts in this direction have consistently rendered very poor results, with typical resulting speedups averaging below 1.5x. In this project, we identify the strongest reasons why traditional data compression has fallen short in terms of speedup performance for HPC, and propose novel techniques particularly crafted for groundbreaking performance within the HPC framework. Preliminary results show that these techniques break the 10x speedup markup consistently for a wide class of HPC applications of primary importance to NASA. We propose to develop the theory and methods behind these techniques, which ultimately will result into a library product for transparent acceleration of HPC communication platforms, such as MPI. Accelogic has already secured Phase III private capital in the amount of $1 million for the deployment of such potentially revolutionary product, following a successful Phase II. More »

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