Abstract : High-performance computing requires a deep knowledge of the hardware platform to fully exploit its computing power. The performance of data transfer between cores and memory is becoming critical. Therefore locality is a major area of optimization on the road to exascale. Indeed, tasks and data have to be carefully distributed on the computing and memory resources.
We discuss the current way to expose processor and memory locality information in the Linux kernel and in user-space libraries such as the hwloc software project. The current de facto standard structural modeling of the platform as the tree is not perfect, but it offers a good compromise between precision and convenience for HPC runtimes.
We present an in-depth study of the software view of the upcoming Intel Knights Landing processor. Its memory locality cannot be properly exposed to user-space applications without a significant rework of the current software stack. We propose an extension of the current hierarchical platform model in hwloc. It correctly exposes new heterogeneous architectures with high-bandwidth or non-volatile memories to applications, while still being convenient for affinity-aware HPC runtimes.