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T. Schneider, T. Hoefler, R. Grant, B. Barrett, R. Brightwell:

 Protocols for Fully Offloaded Collective Operations on Accelerated Network Adapters

(In Parallel Processing (ICPP), 2013 42nd International Conference on, presented in Lyon, France, pages 593-602, ISSN: 0190-3918, Oct. 2013)


With each successive generation, network adapters for high-performance networks are becoming more powerful and feature rich. High-performance NICs can now provide support for performing complex group communication operations on the NIC without any host CPU involvement. Several "offloading interfaces" have been designed with the collective communcations goal being the complete offloading of arbitrary communication patterns. In this work, we analyze the offloading model offered in the Portals 4 specification in detail. We perform a theoretical analysis based on abstract communication graphs and show several protocols for implementing offloaded communication schedules. Based on our analysis, we propose and implement an extension to the Portals 4 specification that enables offloading any communication pattern completely to the NIC. Our measurements with several advanced communication algorithms confirm that the enhancements provide good overlap and asynchronous progress in practical settings. Altogether, we demonstrate a complete and simple scheme for implementing arbitrary offloaded communication algorithms and hardware. Our protocols can act as a blueprint for the development of communication hardware as well as middleware while optimizing the whole communication stack.


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  author={T. Schneider and T. Hoefler and R. Grant and B. Barrett and R. Brightwell},
  title={{Protocols for Fully Offloaded Collective Operations on Accelerated Network Adapters}},
  booktitle={Parallel Processing (ICPP), 2013 42nd International Conference on},
  location={Lyon, France},

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