Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Performance characteristics of the Cray X1 and their implications for application
- Author(s): Shan, Hogzhang
- Strohmaier, Erich
- et al.
During the last decade the scientific computing community has optimized many applications for execution on superscalar computing platforms. The recent arrival of the Japanese Earth Simulator has revived interest in vector architectures especially in the US. It is important to examine how to port our current scientific applications to the new vector platforms and how to achieve high performance. The success of porting these applications will also influence the acceptance of new vector architectures. In this paper, we first investigate the memory performance characteristics of the Cray X1, a recently released vector platform, and determine the most influential performance factors. Then, we examine how to optimize applications tuned on superscalar platforms for the Cray X1 using its performance characteristics as guidelines. Finally, we evaluate the different types of optimizations used, the effort for their implementations, and whether they provide any performance benefits when ported back to superscalar platforms.