Press release

UCX Networking Layer Adopted by Charm++, Accelerating Charm++ Performance by up to 85 Percent

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International Supercomputing Conference The Unified
Communication Framework (UCF) Consortium, a collaboration between
industry, laboratories, and academia to create production grade
communication frameworks and open standards for data centric and
high-performance applications, today announced that the Unified
Communication X Framework (UCX), has just been adopted via a backend UCX
network interface layer within Charm++, a parallel programming framework
for scalable HPC applications. The new UCX layer is now available from
the Charm++ GitHub repository. The UCX layer accelerates existing and
future applications that use Charm++ as the framework for parallelism
and load balancing over high-performance interconnect technologies.
Charm++ is the parallel runtime used by the NAMD biomolecular simulation
program, along with many computational science and engineering
applications.

“We are very pleased to announce that Charmworks has adopted UCX as a
networking layer for Charm++,” said UCF Consortium Chairman Jeff Kuehn
of Los Alamos National Laboratory. “The UCX open source framework
enables network and programming model innovations, and supports a
variety of high-performance interconnect technologies – InfiniBand,
Ethernet, shared memory, and proprietary options. We are looking forward
to continued collaboration with Charmworks on further optimizations.”

“The new UCX layer provides our users with a high-performance
communication layer,” said Laxmikant “Sanjay” Kale, CEO of Charmworks
Inc. “Having a universal layer that performs on par with
network-specific layers helps streamline our software stack.”

The joint effort between the UCF Consortium and Charmworks enabled the
UCX layer to act as a foundation for the message-driven task-based
programming model of Charm++, Adaptive MPI, and Charm4Py. Early
performance benchmarks of the UCX network interface layer on EDR
InfiniBand, demonstrated performance improvements up to 85% compared to
the verbs layer and up to 64% compared to the MPI layer based on a
commercial MPI implementation.

The UCX network interface layer can co-exist with, and potentially
replace, several legacy network interface layers in the future to
provide a consolidated and unified network interface layer optimized for
the specific underlying communication hardware. This reduces the amount
of code to be maintained and provides assurance of the best performance
on target platforms.

The UCX layer is available today on the GitHub master branch of Charm++,
and will be included in the upcoming v6.10 release of Charm++.

Supporting Resources:

About UCF

An open communication framework is an essential enabler of Co-Design,
opening the opportunity for innovation and development of heterogeneous
co-processing elements working together synergistically and seamlessly
to achieve a robust and capable ecosystem for Exascale computing and
beyond. The Unified Communication Framework Consortium is a
collaboration between industry, laboratories, and academia to create
production grade communication frameworks and open standards for data
centric and high-performance applications.

About Charmworks, Inc.

Charmworks, Inc. is a company focused on providing software for parallel
computing ranging from servers, clusters, cloud resources, and
supercomputers. Its offerings are based on decades of research at the
University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and include Charm++,
Adaptive MPI, and Charades, which support their signature features
including automatic load balancing and fault tolerance.