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Enhancing NIC performance for MPI using processing-in-memory

Rodrigues, Arun; Murphy, Richard; Brightwell, Ronald B.; Underwood, Keith D.

Processing-in-Memory (PIM) technology encompasses a range of research leveraging a tight coupling of memory and processing. The most unique features of the technology are extremely wide paths to memory, extremely low memory latency, and wide functional units. Many PIM researchers are also exploring extremely fine-grained multi-threading capabilities. This paper explores a mechanism for leveraging these features of PIM technology to enhance commodity architectures in a seemingly mundane way: accelerating MPI. Modern network interfaces leverage simple processors to offload portions of the MPI semantics, particularly the management of posted receive and unexpected message queues. Without adding cost or increasing clock frequency, using PIMs in the network interface can enhance performance. The results are a significant decrease in latency and increase in small message bandwidth, particularly when long queues are present.