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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Hybrid Parallelism for Volume Rendering on Large, Multi-core Systems


This work studies the performance and scalability characteristics of "hybrid'"parallel programming and execution as applied to raycasting volume rendering -- a staple visualization algorithm -- on a large, multi-core platform. Historically, the Message Passing Interface (MPI) has become the de-facto standard for parallel programming and execution on modern parallel systems. As the computing industry trends towards multi-core processors, with four- and six-core chips common today and 128-core chips coming soon, we wish to better understand how algorithmic and parallel programming choices impact performance and scalability on large, distributed-memory multi-core systems. Our findings indicate that the hybrid-parallel implementation, at levels of concurrency ranging from 1,728 to 216,000, performs better, uses a smaller absolute memory footprint, and consumes less communication bandwidth than the traditional, MPI-only implementation.

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