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Beacon project selects Allinea development tools

Allinea Software has announced that its development tools are being used on the Beacon project at the US National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS). Top of the November 2012 Green500 list for energy efficiency, the NICS Beacon machine has four Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor cards per node that provide the majority of the 210 teraflops delivered by the system.

Providing 2.5 gigaflops per watt, the 11,520 Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor cores and 768 Intel Xeon processor cores are part of a project that is funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) to port and optimise scientific codes to the Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor. Codes already identified for early attention include OMEN, ENZO, MADNESS, NWChem, Amber, MILC, and MAGMA – covering a broad spectrum of applications in nano-electronics, astrophysics, chemistry, biochemistry, subatomic physics, and applied mathematics.

‘Our mission is to optimise scientific applications. Our users want to get substantial gains in performance and energy efficiency, in a straightforward manner, as they port and optimise their codes to Beacon,’ said Dr Glenn Brook, chief technology officer at NICS. ‘The clean, scalable tools provided by Allinea help make that possible. Allinea MAP enables our users to carefully study application performance and to easily identify critical sections of code for optimisation, while Allinea DDT provides the parallel debugging capabilities necessary to track down the sources of any problems that arise during the optimisation work. Together in a unified environment, Allinea's tools are expected to significantly reduce the development burden on our users, thereby freeing them to focus more completely on their science.’

James Reinders, director of Parallel Programming at Intel, added: ‘Many of the applications running on Beacon will be running across the entire cluster, making tools that can profile and debug the whole application at scale a tremendous resource for application developers.

‘The availability of such tools in a unified environment from Allinea is a welcome addition to the Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor software environment to help enable important large-scale, production HPC usage.’

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