W. Yu, D. Buntinas, R. L. Graham, and D. K. Panda, "Efficient and Scalable Barrier over Quadrics and Myrinet with a New NIC-based Collective Message Passing Protocol," Preprint ANL/MCS-P1121-0204, January 2004. [pdf]
Modern interconnects often have programmable processors in the network interface that can be utilized to offload communication processing from host CPU. In this paper, we explore different schemes to support collective operations at the network interface and propose a new collective protocol. With barrier as an initial case study, we have demonstrated that much of the communication processing can be greatly simplified with this collective protocol. Accordingly, we have designed and implemented efficient and scalable NIC-based barrier operations over two high performance interconnects. Quadrics and Myrinet.