An efficient communication architecture for commodity supercomputers

Stephan Brauss, Anton Gunzinger, Martin Frey, Martin Heimlicher, Andreas Huber, Martin Lienhard, Patrick Müller, Martin Näf, Josef Nemecek, Roland Paul
1999 Proceedings of the 1999 ACM/IEEE conference on Supercomputing (CDROM) - Supercomputing '99  
The goal of the Swiss-Tx project is to develop, build and install the first Swiss tera-flop supercomputer called Swiss-T2, which is mainly based on commodity parts. Only the communication hardware and communication software is custom-made, because available off-theshelf products, such as Ethernet with the socket interface, do not offer the necessary bandwidth, latency, and functionality. In this paper, we present a new efficient communication architecture for commodity supercomputing called
more » ... Communication Interface (FCI), and we introduce T-NET, the custom-made high-performance communication hardware for the Swiss-Tx supercomputers. The highlights are low-latency, highbandwidth, and portability. Portability means that the communication hardware and software is mainly platform independent and that a large number of modern workstations and standard operating systems can be used as they are. A full implementation of the standardized MPI (Message Passing Interface), written entirely on top of FCI, is also available. Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE SC99 Conference (SC'99) 1-58113-091-0/99 $ 17.00 © 1999 IEEE Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE SC99 Conference (SC'99) 1-58113-091-0/99 $ 17.00 © 1999 IEEE Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE SC99 Conference (SC'99) 1-58113-091-0/99 $ 17.00 © 1999 IEEE Implementation of the Communication Network T-NET Communication Adapter The T-NET communication adapter is a 32 bit PCI adapter board with DMA capabilities, offering one bidirectional link to the T-NET network with a peak bandwidth of 100 Mbyte/s in each direction. The adapter board is functionally partitioned into four subsystems: the PCI bridge, the communication controller, the link controller and the link transceiver. FIFO buffers, one for data to the network (TX-FIFO) and one for data from the network (RX-FIFO), decouple the communication and the link controller. Additional on-board memory is used to store communication related tables, i.e. the ID validation table, the page table, and the index-to-address translation table (see figure 5 ).
doi:10.1145/331532.331551 dblp:conf/sc/BraussLNGNFHHMP99 fatcat:gjeom4ojevhdrl7ranmm3tzlku