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Compiler and Runtime System

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At Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s (PNNL) CASS-MT, the research team is making it a priority to develop techniques and tools to improve the success of various applications used on the XMT. Programming languages and their compilers tell a computer what to do. Programming languages can be as different from each other as Spanish is from English and German. The compiler acts as an interpreter between the human and the machine – translating source code (closer to human language) into the machine’s unique language. The Cray XMT uses an extended version of the C/C++ programming language. By improving the translator, you ultimately can improve the speed and capabilities of the machine.
The XMT inter-node communication architecture is based on the XT-3’s interconnect, which is designed for distributed memory systems and applications that exploit locality. They team will research several enhancements to the MTA programming model and compilation process. Research areas include: Compiler thread generation and destruction exposed to the programmer; Result reproducibility and/or accuracy of transient reductions; Mechanisms for exploiting locality to improve scalability, as well as support for more Advanced parallelization strategies (such as dynamic nested parallelism).
The current programming environment on the XMT focuses on data-parallel compilation of loops nests. That is the threads on the XMT system execute the same loop bodies over different portions of the data. This approach enables the utilization of multiprocessor, multithreaded parallelism across large amounts of data. The compiler and runtime systems in cooperation, determine when to create and destroy threads and how to map loop iterations to threads. However, for some application areas this is not enough and more detailed control of the parallelism is needed.

Article Title: Compiler and Runtime System

Article Added: 2010/09/18

Category(s): Software

Last Update: 13 July 2011 | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory