Argonne National Laboratory

Toward the Efficient Use of Multiple Explicitly Managed Memory Subsystems

TitleToward the Efficient Use of Multiple Explicitly Managed Memory Subsystems
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsPena, AJ, Balaji, P
Other NumbersANL/MCS-P5140-0514

The increasing number of memory technologies offering different features such as optimized access patterns or capacity/speed ratios lead us to advocate for future HPC compute nodes equipped with heterogeneous memory subsystems. The aim is to alleviate further the ever-increasing gap between computation and memory access speeds, by taking advantage of the benefits these memory technologies provide. Compute nodes equipped with memory technologies such as scratchpad memory, on-chip 3D-stacked memory, or NVRAM-based memory are already a reality. Careful use of the different memory subsystems is mandatory in order to exploit the potential of such super- computers. While most multiple-memory models concentrate on extending the depth of the memory hierarchy by incorporating more levels of hardware-managed memories, we advocate for compute nodes equipped with heterogeneous software-managed memory subsystems. Although the exact approach to efficiently exploit them is still uncertain, a software ecosystem clearly is required in order to assist in an efficient data distribution. We address this problem at the memory object granularity. In this paper we use an object-differentiated profiling tool we have developed on top of the Valgrind instrumentation framework, in order to assess the most suitable memory subsystem for the different memory objects of two miniapplications from the Mantevo codesign project. Our results considering two different memory configurations as use cases reveal the potential benefits of carefully placing the different memory objects of an application among the different memory subsystems.