Tools for High Performance Computing

pp 19-34

An Integrated Environment For the Development of Parallel Applications

  • Gregory R. WatsonAffiliated withIBM T.J. Watson Research Center Email author 
  • , Craig E. RasmussenAffiliated withLos Alamos National Laboratory

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The development of parallel applications is becoming increasingly important to a broad range of industries. Traditionally, parallel programming was a niche area that was primarily exploited by scientists trying to model extremely complicated physical phenomenon. It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that continued hardware performance improvements through clock scaling and feature-size reduction are simply not going to be achievable for much longer. The hardware vendor’s approach to addressing this issue is to employ parallelism through multi-processor and multi-core technologies. While there is little doubt that this approach produces scaling improvements, there are still many significant hurdles to be overcome before parallelism can be employed as a general replacement to more traditional programming techniques. The Parallel Tools Platform (PTP) Project was created in 2005 in an attempt to provide developers with new tools aimed at addressing some of the parallel development issues. Since then, the introduction of a new generation of peta-scale and many-core systems has highlighted the need for such a platform. We describe the current state of PTP, and discuss how a new generation of tools is going to be required to meet the needs of these architectures.