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Center for Adaptive Supercomputing - Multithreaded Architectures

Center for Adaptive Supercomputing Software (CASS)

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World-leading solutions for improving execution speed of irregular, data intensive applications

Unlike traditional computing, CASS’ multithreaded supercomputer, the Cray XMT, coupled with PNNL's research staff have the potential to substantially accelerate data analysis and predictive analytics for complex challenges in energy, national security, and fundamental science.

CASS is home to the only Open Science Cray XMT system, consisting of 128 multithreaded processors, 1 TB RAM, and a 7.7-TB Lustre parallel filesystem.

CASS is dedicated to research involving:

Within CASS, we create collaborations and provide expertise for using the Cray XMT systems and porting and optimizing applications. We also offer external and internal research partners access to CASS' Cray XMT system—the only center like it in the world. Ask about how to obtain access to the Cray XMT.

Current challenges: Many applications are memory bound due to the increasing gap between memory and processor speeds. That is, the speed of the memory determines their performance. Slow memory speed prevents the processor from working while it waits for data to arrive. An alternative type of architecture is required to process irregular, data-intensive applications that have random memory access patterns.

Providing solutions: The new multithreaded architectures tolerate memory access latencies by switching context between threads. This means that the processors maintain multiple threads of execution and use hardware-based context switching to overlap the memory latency incurred by any thread with the computations from other threads.


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