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Primeur weekly 2020-09-14

Focus

Some RISC-V high performance implementations presented at RISC-V Global Forum by European Processor Initiative, NSITEXE, OpenBLAS, and SemiDynamics ...

Exascale supercomputing

Combustion pioneer named Department of Energy fellow ...

Quantum computing

New method prevents quantum computers from crashing ...

Q-CTRL and Quantum Machines announce partnership to accelerate quantum computing development ...

Cambridge Quantum Computing welcomes Mehdi Bozzo-Rey ...

Focus on Europe

Researchers develop molecule to store solar energy ...

First release of PROCESS software now available ...

From artificial intelligence to nanomaterials and astrophysics - Seven Irish research projects to benefit from EuroHPC Academic Flagship Programme ...

Middleware

SDSC to help create science gateway for new materials discovery ...

Hardware

NCSA's Donna J. Cox honoured with rare IPS Technology Innovation Award ...

Advanced NVMe controller technology for next generation memory devices ...

Credo announces the DOVE platform, its second generation of low power PAM4 DSPs for 100G/200G/400G data networks ...

Tachyum opens U.S., EU and NATO Government Business Unit ...

National Science Foundation awards CENIC an international networking grant for operation of Pacific Wave ...

UCF Consortium receives open source contribution from Arm to speed access to persistent memory storage ...

Liqid announces agreement with Arrow Electronics to bring composable disaggregated infrastructure solutions to data centres worldwide ...

Research and Markets to issue Global Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) and High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM) Suppliers Strategic Positioning and Leadership Quadrant Report 2020 ...

Genomics England scales up genomic sequencing with Quantum ActiveScale object storage ...

NVIDIA to acquire Arm for $40 billion, creating world's premier computing company for the age of AI ...

Applications

NCSA and University of Illinois announce new Center for AstroPhysical Surveys ...

Lead lab selected for next-generation cosmic microwave background experiment ...

Insilico announces the launch of AI-powered COVIDomic to support COVID-19 research worldwide ...

Model shows that the speed neurons fire impacts their ability to synchronize ...

Physicists achieve tunable spin wave excitation ...

EBRAINS makes bid to enter the European Research Infrastructure Roadmap with ten-country strong coalition and France as lead country ...

Mysterious cellular droplets come into focus ...

The presence of resonating cavities above sunspots has been confirmed ...

The Hospital Clínic and BSC will use artificial intelligence to predict the evolution of patients with COVID-19 ...

ORIGINS - answers to existential questions ...

Altair announces 2020 Global Technology Conference to explore "The Future of..." ...

The Cloud

National Science Foundation-funded CloudBank now operational ...

Schlumberger, IBM and Red Hat announce major hybrid Cloud collaboration for the energy industry ...

Red Hat Marketplace aims to accelerate open hybrid Cloud innovation with certified software solutions ready to run on any Cloud ...

Renesas introduces DDR5 data buffer for high-performance server and Cloud service applications ...

NETINT deploys video transcoding technology in the Nimbix Cloud ...

Some RISC-V high performance implementations presented at RISC-V Global Forum by European Processor Initiative, NSITEXE, OpenBLAS, and SemiDynamics


14 Sep 2020 Almere - From its virtual 4m below sealevel studioPrimeur Magazinereported from the RISC-V Global Forum that went online on September 3, 2020. The focus in this video is on the relationship between RISC-V and high performance computing. Firstly, the European Processor Initiative (EPI) is highlighted. Secondly comes BLAS, a basic algorithm underlying a lot of software in high performance computing. Thirdly, SemiDynamics is addressed. This Barcelona-based company, also involved in European processor activities, came out of stealth mode during the RISC-V Global Forum.

RISC-V CEO Calista Redmond opened the Global Forum with a keynote. The RISC-V organisation has members all around Europe and is located in Switzerland. RISC-V addresses Instruction Set Architectures (ISA), the core definitions out of which processors are built. The total number of members is 690 members from 50 countries globally. The past year showed a growth of 50 percent in new memberships. Some 22.000 people are actively engaged in RISC-V. Predictions are that by 2025, there will be 62,4 billion RISC-V cores in the world. For each person on the Earth, there will be about 10 cores running RISC-V.

From a high performance computing perspective, the presentation by Jean-Marc Denis from the European Processor Initiative was something to look forward to. He gave an overview of the current status. He started by pointing back to 2015 when the European Commission stated that Europe should be in the top 3 of high performance computing by the end of 2020. Europe will not quite make it but is looking now to 2021. However, this was the vision from which it all started.

The European Processor Initiative is a large project. In fact, it is a framework with several projects. The call for the second project has just gone out. It is a series of projects which together will develop a core processor platform for Europe. By 2023, there should be a European exascale system running on the EPI core. To reach this goal, EPI will start with Arm processors which are already there. The EPI team will continue to develop an accelerator based on RISC-V. There are many companies and organisations involved in this endeavour.

One of the companies is called SiPearl. The European Processor Initiative is developing the IP, the intellectual property right but SiPearl will convert the IP into products. SiPearl is looking for an additional 100 million euro to make this happen. The accelerator will initially be implemented as a test chip, based on RISC-V. It will be installed on the chiplets architecture from the EPI platform. By 2022/23 Jean-Marc Denis expects that the EPI will deliver. There are still some problems that need to be solved. There needs to be a software ecosystem in the data centre in the high end space. To date, this does not exist yet so it needs to be developed. The team hopes the RISC-V ecosystem will be mature enough to use it to this purpose.

Other challenges to overcome are the market development uncertainties. Five years from now is still a very long time to go and it takes a lot of money to develop the products. However, Jean-Marc Denis is quite confident that EPI will manage the challenges in time.

There are also other developments within RISC-V which are of interest to high performance computing and could be part of the ecosystem development. One of these developments is the DR1000C, a 512-bit vector chip, developed by NSITEXE. The chip looks a bit like the one used in Fugaku, which is Arm-based. The company is performing performance benchmarking for matrix multiplication which looks very good. The chip is aimed at artificial intelligence and machine learning but also at high performance computing.

The presentation by Xianyi Zhang addressed the OpenBLAS RISC-V "V" vector extension. There is a vector extension defined for RISC-V and Xianyi Zhang is looking at how to port OpenBLAS to that. BLAS involves the basic algorithms that were designed a few decades ago for basic computations like vector-scalar, matrix-vector, and matrix-matrix computations. You can find them at the basic core of the software. These also have high performance implementations on RISC-V in order to smoothly run all your simulation software. For instance, the matrix-matrix multiplication runs 14 times better than if you do it in the standard way. By the end of this year OpenBLAS on RISC-V will be fully optimized. It will be open sourced.

SemiDynamics is looking at high bandwidth IP cores which were introduced at the RISC-V Global Forum. SemiDynamics is part of the European Processor Initiative. The company introduced two new RISC-V cores, namely the Avispado 220 for in-order processing and the Atrevido 220 for out-of-order processing. They can avoid cache misses. They also have an open vector interface in order to connect to your own open vector implementation.

What exactly is a high bandwidth core? If you have very sparse matrices and only once in a while things are needed from this, you have a nice calculation for the first eight elements. Then you have to wait a very long time if you have a cache miss before you can start over again. SemiDynamics has solved this problem with their core that is wider and can better handle cache misses. The chip can be used for machine learning, recommendation systems, key value stores, but also for high performance computing, and especially for sparse data.

The solution can be used in wider systems, so you do not need to have only the small core developed by SemiDynamics but you can put your own vector unit in it. SemiDynamics does not develop the vector unit. You need to develop your own or you purchase it from another company in order to integrate it in your own system-on-a-chip, using the open vector interface.

The open vector interface is a way to connect vector units with other parts of the system or other parts of the core to efficiently manipulate and transfer data from one location to the other. You can concentrate on developing a very fast and very efficient vector processor while SemiDynamics has the high bandwidth processor to connect to the system.

These were some highlights from the RISC-V Global Forum especially with the focus on high performance computing. The European Processor Initiative is part of the bigger RISC-V ecosystem. There are other companies and organisations also developing parts of the whole high performance computing ecosystem. But we should not forget that a large focus of RISC-V is on artificial intelligence and machine learning as well.

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Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2020-09-14

Focus

Some RISC-V high performance implementations presented at RISC-V Global Forum by European Processor Initiative, NSITEXE, OpenBLAS, and SemiDynamics ...

Exascale supercomputing

Combustion pioneer named Department of Energy fellow ...

Quantum computing

New method prevents quantum computers from crashing ...

Q-CTRL and Quantum Machines announce partnership to accelerate quantum computing development ...

Cambridge Quantum Computing welcomes Mehdi Bozzo-Rey ...

Focus on Europe

Researchers develop molecule to store solar energy ...

First release of PROCESS software now available ...

From artificial intelligence to nanomaterials and astrophysics - Seven Irish research projects to benefit from EuroHPC Academic Flagship Programme ...

Middleware

SDSC to help create science gateway for new materials discovery ...

Hardware

NCSA's Donna J. Cox honoured with rare IPS Technology Innovation Award ...

Advanced NVMe controller technology for next generation memory devices ...

Credo announces the DOVE platform, its second generation of low power PAM4 DSPs for 100G/200G/400G data networks ...

Tachyum opens U.S., EU and NATO Government Business Unit ...

National Science Foundation awards CENIC an international networking grant for operation of Pacific Wave ...

UCF Consortium receives open source contribution from Arm to speed access to persistent memory storage ...

Liqid announces agreement with Arrow Electronics to bring composable disaggregated infrastructure solutions to data centres worldwide ...

Research and Markets to issue Global Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) and High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM) Suppliers Strategic Positioning and Leadership Quadrant Report 2020 ...

Genomics England scales up genomic sequencing with Quantum ActiveScale object storage ...

NVIDIA to acquire Arm for $40 billion, creating world's premier computing company for the age of AI ...

Applications

NCSA and University of Illinois announce new Center for AstroPhysical Surveys ...

Lead lab selected for next-generation cosmic microwave background experiment ...

Insilico announces the launch of AI-powered COVIDomic to support COVID-19 research worldwide ...

Model shows that the speed neurons fire impacts their ability to synchronize ...

Physicists achieve tunable spin wave excitation ...

EBRAINS makes bid to enter the European Research Infrastructure Roadmap with ten-country strong coalition and France as lead country ...

Mysterious cellular droplets come into focus ...

The presence of resonating cavities above sunspots has been confirmed ...

The Hospital Clínic and BSC will use artificial intelligence to predict the evolution of patients with COVID-19 ...

ORIGINS - answers to existential questions ...

Altair announces 2020 Global Technology Conference to explore "The Future of..." ...

The Cloud

National Science Foundation-funded CloudBank now operational ...

Schlumberger, IBM and Red Hat announce major hybrid Cloud collaboration for the energy industry ...

Red Hat Marketplace aims to accelerate open hybrid Cloud innovation with certified software solutions ready to run on any Cloud ...

Renesas introduces DDR5 data buffer for high-performance server and Cloud service applications ...

NETINT deploys video transcoding technology in the Nimbix Cloud ...