SC22 Proceedings

The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis

Birds of a Feather Archive

Arm Diversity Unified: Standardization in Hardware and Software

Authors: Jeffrey Young (Georgia Institute of Technology), Eva Siegmann (Stony Brook University), Steve Poole (Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)), Michèle Weiland (Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC)), John Linford (NVIDIA Corporation)

Abstract: This BoF brings together the Arm HPC community to discuss how current and future standards will influence the growing diversity of Arm-related hardware and software. A panel composed of government, academic, and industry practitioners and vendors will discuss whether hardware standards (e.g., Armv9 and SBSA) and software standards (e.g., C++ Standard Parallelism and OpenMP) can sufficiently support the growing and diverse Arm hardware ecosystem. Audience participation is strongly encouraged with a focus on answering standards-related questions and facilitating the growth and interoperability of future Arm-based extreme scale systems.

Long Description: The Arm architecture has made a strong impact on the HPC community as evidenced by several projects including the Japanese Fugaku supercomputer, Sandia’s Astra system, the UK’s GW4/EPSRC efforts, and Europe’s “Mont-Blanc” project. Arm is now a major player in the HPC field, and there is a rapidly growing diversity of Arm-based HPC platforms. CPUs from Ampere, Fujitsu, and AWS power HPC at all scales, and NVIDIA, SiPearl, and others have announced accelerated Arm-based platforms. Arm now provides three HPC-appropriate microarchitectures in addition to those provided by Ampere and Fujitsu. In this BoF, we attempt to tackle the following key questions: 1) Is this growing diversity good for the HPC community, or is Arm facilitating an unnecessarily complex computing landscape? 2) How will current and future standards influence the growing diversity of Arm-based hardware and software?

To answer these questions, this BoF will bring together the Arm HPC community to discuss standardization of hardware and software for Arm-based HPC with a focus on growth and interoperability of future Arm-based extreme scale systems. A panel of experts will discuss and debate related questions such as: Are the Arm standards too flexible, or should vendors be afforded more flexibility in their designs? Can language standards for portable parallelization like C++ Standard Parallelism and SYCL resolve incompatibility between platforms with radically different designs? Can the Arm architecture facilitate performance across diverse microarchitectures, or is it simply the least common denominator for portable applications? As the Arm community develops new standards for confidential computing, power monitoring, and edge-to-cloud integration, what lessons can we learn and tools can we leverage to create lasting and beneficial standards?

Our expert panel will be composed of leading government and industry practitioners, including participants from government and academic labs and vendors working on developing the next generation of Arm HPC hardware as well as related software efforts (e.g., LLVM, OpenMP). In addition to a set of prepared questions on the topics given above, the audience is invited to bring their standards-related questions and to participate in the discussion. This BoF has been held in person at SC19 and SC18 with attendance of approximately 150, and held virtually at SC21 with similar attendance. It has also been held in person at ISC22 with attendance of approximately 120 and virtually at ISC21 with attendance of approximately 60. The organizers of this proposed BoF are experienced with the panel format and can use tools such as Mentimeter to facilitate audience interaction.

We expect this frank and lively discussion of standards for Arm-based HPC will produce new collaborations and will also increase visibility of standards across all levels of system design. An ideal outcome of this BoF would be to decide on the most important issues for standardization to address rapid growth in Arm hardware diversity and to use future AHUG events and hackathons to help work towards community-supported efforts to allow for better interoperability in future extreme-scale deployments.


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