Hardware and Software Design of FPGA-based PCIe Gen3 interface for APENet+ network interconnect system

Apr 13, 2015, 5:45 PM
Village Center (Village Center)

Village Center

Village Center

oral presentation Track8: Performance increase and optimization exploiting hardware features Track 8 Session


Michele Martinelli (INFN Rome)


The computing nodes of modern hybrid HPC systems are built using the CPU+GPU paradigm. When this class of systems is scaled to large size, the efficiency of the network connecting GPUs mesh and supporting the internode traffic is a critical factor. The adoption of a low latency, high performance dedicated network architecture, exploiting peculiar characteristics of CPU and GPU hardware, allows to guarantee scalability and a good level of sustained performances. In the attempt to develop a custom interconnection architecture optimized for scientific computing we designed APEnet+, a point-to-point, low-latency and high-performance 3D torus network controller which supports 6 fully bidirectional off-board links. The first release of APEnet+ (named V4), was a board based on a high end 40nm Altera FPGA that integrates multiple (6) channels at 34Gbps of raw bandwidth per direction and a PCIe Gen2 x8 host interface. APEnet+ board was the first-of-its-kind to implement a Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) protocol to directly read/write data from/to Fermi and Kepler NVIDIA GPUs using the Nvidia “peer-to-peer” and “GPUDirect RDMA” protocols, obtaining real zero-copy, low-latency GPU-to-GPU transfers over the network and reducing the performance bottleneck due to the costly copies of data from user to kernel space( and vice-versa). The last generation of APEnet+ systems (V5), currently under development, is based on state-of-the-art high end FPGA, 28nm Altera Stratix V, offering a number of multi-standard fast transceivers (up to 14.4 Gbps), huge amount of configurable internal resources and hardware IP cores to support main interconnection standard protocols. APEnet+ V5 implements a PCIe Gen3 x8 interface, the current standard protocol for high end system peripherals, in order to gain performance on the critical CPU/GPU connection and mitigate the effect of the bottleneck represented by GPUs memory access. Furthermore the FPGA technology advancement, allowed us to integrate in V5, new off-board torus channels characterized by a target speed of 56 Gbps. Both Linux Device Driver and the low-level libraries, have been redesigned to support the PCIe Gen3 protocol, introducing optimizations and solutions based on hardware/software co-design. In this paper we present the architecture of APEnet+ V5 and discuss the status of APEnet+ V5 PCIe Gen3 hardware and system software design. Measures of performance in terms of latency and bandwidth, both for the local APEnet+ to CPU-GPU connection (with Kepler class GPU) and host-to-host via torus links, will also be provided.

Primary authors

Alessandro Lonardo (Universita e INFN, Roma I (IT)) Andrea Biagioni (INFN) Davide Rossetti (INFN Rome and NVidia Corp. (USA)) Elena Pastorelli (INFN Rome) Francesca Lo Cicero (INFN Rome) Francesco Simula (INFN Rome) Laura Tosoratto (INFN) Michele Martinelli (INFN Rome) Ottorino Frezza (INFN Rome) Pier Stanislao Paolucci (INFN Rome) Piero Vicini (INFN Rome) Roberto Ammendola (INFN)

Presentation materials