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Title: The ASC Sequoia Programming Model

Abstract

In the late 1980's and early 1990's, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was deeply engrossed in determining the next generation programming model for the Integrated Design Codes (IDC) beyond vectorization for the Cray 1s series of computers. The vector model, developed in mid 1970's first for the CDC 7600 and later extended from stack based vector operation to memory to memory operations for the Cray 1s, lasted approximately 20 years (See Slide 5). The Cray vector era was deemed an extremely long lived era as it allowed vector codes to be developed over time (the Cray 1s were faster in scalar mode than the CDC 7600) with vector unit utilization increasing incrementally over time. The other attributes of the Cray vector era at LLNL were that we developed, supported and maintained the Operating System (LTSS and later NLTSS), communications protocols (LINCS), Compilers (Civic Fortran77 and Model), operating system tools (e.g., batch system, job control scripting, loaders, debuggers, editors, graphics utilities, you name it) and math and highly machine optimized libraries (e.g., SLATEC, and STACKLIB). Although LTSS was adopted by Cray for early system generations, they later developed COS and UNICOS operating systems and environment on their own. In the late 1970smore » and early 1980s two trends appeared that made the Cray vector programming model (described above including both the hardware and system software aspects) seem potentially dated and slated for major revision. These trends were the appearance of low cost CMOS microprocessors and their attendant, departmental and mini-computers and later workstations and personal computers. With the wide spread adoption of Unix in the early 1980s, it appeared that LLNL (and the other DOE Labs) would be left out of the mainstream of computing without a rapid transition to these 'Killer Micros' and modern OS and tools environments. The other interesting advance in the period is that systems were being developed with multiple 'cores' in them and called Symmetric Multi-Processor or Shared Memory Processor (SMP) systems. The parallel revolution had begun. The Laboratory started a small 'parallel processing project' in 1983 to study the new technology and its application to scientific computing with four people: Tim Axelrod, Pete Eltgroth, Paul Dubois and Mark Seager. Two years later, Eugene Brooks joined the team. This team focused on Unix and 'killer micro' SMPs. Indeed, Eugene Brooks was credited with coming up with the 'Killer Micro' term. After several generations of SMP platforms (e.g., Sequent Balance 8000 with 8 33MHz MC32032s, Allian FX8 with 8 MC68020 and FPGA based Vector Units and finally the BB&N Butterfly with 128 cores), it became apparent to us that the killer micro revolution would indeed take over Crays and that we definitely needed a new programming and systems model. The model developed by Mark Seager and Dale Nielsen focused on both the system aspects (Slide 3) and the code development aspects (Slide 4). Although now succinctly captured in two attached slides, at the time there was tremendous ferment in the research community as to what parallel programming model would emerge, dominate and survive. In addition, we wanted a model that would provide portability between platforms of a single generation but also longevity over multiple--and hopefully--many generations. Only after we developed the 'Livermore Model' and worked it out in considerable detail did it become obvious that what we came up with was the right approach. In a nutshell, the applications programming model of the Livermore Model posited that SMP parallelism would ultimately not scale indefinitely and one would have to bite the bullet and implement MPI parallelism within the Integrated Design Code (IDC). We also had a major emphasis on doing everything in a completely standards based, portable methodology with POSIX/Unix as the target environment. We decided against specialized libraries like STACKLIB for performance, but kept as many general purpose, portable math libraries as were needed by the codes. Third, we assumed that the SMPs in clusters would evolve in time to become more powerful, feature rich and, in particular, offer more cores. Thus, we focused on OpenMP, and POSIX PThreads for programming SMP parallelism. These code porting efforts were lead by Dale Nielsen, A-Division code group leader, and Randy Christensen, B-Division code group leader. Most of the porting effort revolved removing 'Crayisms' in the codes: artifacts of LTSS/NLTSS, Civic compiler extensions beyond Fortran77, IO libraries and dealing with new code control languages (we switched to Perl and later to Python). Adding MPI to the codes was initially problematic and error prone because the programmers used MPI directly and sprinkled the calls throughout the code.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
945684
Report Number(s):
LLNL-SR-406177
TRN: US200904%%123
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS; COMMUNICATIONS; COMPUTERS; DESIGN; LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY; LOADERS; MICROPROCESSORS; PERFORMANCE; PERSONAL COMPUTERS; PROCESSING; PROGRAMMING; SCALARS; TARGETS; VECTORS

Citation Formats

Seager, M. The ASC Sequoia Programming Model. United States: N. p., 2008. Web. doi:10.2172/945684.
Seager, M. The ASC Sequoia Programming Model. United States. doi:10.2172/945684.
Seager, M. Wed . "The ASC Sequoia Programming Model". United States. doi:10.2172/945684. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/945684.
@article{osti_945684,
title = {The ASC Sequoia Programming Model},
author = {Seager, M},
abstractNote = {In the late 1980's and early 1990's, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was deeply engrossed in determining the next generation programming model for the Integrated Design Codes (IDC) beyond vectorization for the Cray 1s series of computers. The vector model, developed in mid 1970's first for the CDC 7600 and later extended from stack based vector operation to memory to memory operations for the Cray 1s, lasted approximately 20 years (See Slide 5). The Cray vector era was deemed an extremely long lived era as it allowed vector codes to be developed over time (the Cray 1s were faster in scalar mode than the CDC 7600) with vector unit utilization increasing incrementally over time. The other attributes of the Cray vector era at LLNL were that we developed, supported and maintained the Operating System (LTSS and later NLTSS), communications protocols (LINCS), Compilers (Civic Fortran77 and Model), operating system tools (e.g., batch system, job control scripting, loaders, debuggers, editors, graphics utilities, you name it) and math and highly machine optimized libraries (e.g., SLATEC, and STACKLIB). Although LTSS was adopted by Cray for early system generations, they later developed COS and UNICOS operating systems and environment on their own. In the late 1970s and early 1980s two trends appeared that made the Cray vector programming model (described above including both the hardware and system software aspects) seem potentially dated and slated for major revision. These trends were the appearance of low cost CMOS microprocessors and their attendant, departmental and mini-computers and later workstations and personal computers. With the wide spread adoption of Unix in the early 1980s, it appeared that LLNL (and the other DOE Labs) would be left out of the mainstream of computing without a rapid transition to these 'Killer Micros' and modern OS and tools environments. The other interesting advance in the period is that systems were being developed with multiple 'cores' in them and called Symmetric Multi-Processor or Shared Memory Processor (SMP) systems. The parallel revolution had begun. The Laboratory started a small 'parallel processing project' in 1983 to study the new technology and its application to scientific computing with four people: Tim Axelrod, Pete Eltgroth, Paul Dubois and Mark Seager. Two years later, Eugene Brooks joined the team. This team focused on Unix and 'killer micro' SMPs. Indeed, Eugene Brooks was credited with coming up with the 'Killer Micro' term. After several generations of SMP platforms (e.g., Sequent Balance 8000 with 8 33MHz MC32032s, Allian FX8 with 8 MC68020 and FPGA based Vector Units and finally the BB&N Butterfly with 128 cores), it became apparent to us that the killer micro revolution would indeed take over Crays and that we definitely needed a new programming and systems model. The model developed by Mark Seager and Dale Nielsen focused on both the system aspects (Slide 3) and the code development aspects (Slide 4). Although now succinctly captured in two attached slides, at the time there was tremendous ferment in the research community as to what parallel programming model would emerge, dominate and survive. In addition, we wanted a model that would provide portability between platforms of a single generation but also longevity over multiple--and hopefully--many generations. Only after we developed the 'Livermore Model' and worked it out in considerable detail did it become obvious that what we came up with was the right approach. In a nutshell, the applications programming model of the Livermore Model posited that SMP parallelism would ultimately not scale indefinitely and one would have to bite the bullet and implement MPI parallelism within the Integrated Design Code (IDC). We also had a major emphasis on doing everything in a completely standards based, portable methodology with POSIX/Unix as the target environment. We decided against specialized libraries like STACKLIB for performance, but kept as many general purpose, portable math libraries as were needed by the codes. Third, we assumed that the SMPs in clusters would evolve in time to become more powerful, feature rich and, in particular, offer more cores. Thus, we focused on OpenMP, and POSIX PThreads for programming SMP parallelism. These code porting efforts were lead by Dale Nielsen, A-Division code group leader, and Randy Christensen, B-Division code group leader. Most of the porting effort revolved removing 'Crayisms' in the codes: artifacts of LTSS/NLTSS, Civic compiler extensions beyond Fortran77, IO libraries and dealing with new code control languages (we switched to Perl and later to Python). Adding MPI to the codes was initially problematic and error prone because the programmers used MPI directly and sprinkled the calls throughout the code.},
doi = {10.2172/945684},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2008},
month = {8}
}

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