Power API

Achieving practical exascale supercomputing will require massive increases in energy efficiency. The bulk of this improvement will likely be derived from hardware advances such as improved semiconductor device technologies and tighter integration, hopefully resulting in more energy efficient computer architectures. Still, software will have an important role to play. With every generation of new hardware, more power measurement and control capabilities are exposed. Many of these features require software involvement to maximize feature benefits. This trend will allow algorithm designers to add power and energy efficiency to their optimization criteria. Similarly, at the system level, opportunities now exist for energy-aware scheduling to meet external utility constraints such as time of day cost charging and power ramp rate limitations. Finally, future architectures might not be able to operate all components at full capability for a range of reasons including temperature considerations or power delivery limitations. Software will need to make appropriate choices about how to allocate the available power budget given many, sometimes conflicting considerations. For these reasons, we have developed a portable API for power measurement and control.