Project Status: Active

2021: Q4

Program Translation and Synthesis for Extremely Heterogeneous Architectures

Goal. The overarching goal of this Bluestone project is to enable new levels of performance portability of high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) applications on extremely heterogeneous (EH) architectures. Given the current trends toward architectural diversification, any software developers that strive for performance portability of their software will need improved techniques, including program synthesis, that hide the increasing complexity of emerging EH architectures. There are two key challenges for performance portability: (1) improved code generation and synthesis for EH devices on single node and across multiple EH architectures, and (2) effective run time scheduling of computation while accounting for device heterogeneity, locality, and data orchestration.

Approach. Our project, named Bluestone, will take the approach of improving both the code generation and run time systems by employing program synthesis techniques, including AI, constraint solving, SMT/SAT, and symbolic methods. To achieve these goals, our Bluestone project will integrate and build on several established components: (a) the LLVM/MLIR compiler ecosystem; (b) the SnowWhite high-level reasoning engine; and (c) the IRIS heterogeneous run time system. We will initially target HPC and AI applications on three relevant platforms of interest to DOE: Summit (IBM and NVIDIA), Frontier (AMD), and Aurora (Intel). Concurrently, we will focus on emerging architectures including FPGAs, systems on a chip (SoCs) (e.g., Qualcomm Snapdragon), and quantum devices via QASM. We will initially target popular languages and programming models in HPC, such as a C, C++, SYCL, OpenCL, and Python (NumPy/SciPy), then move to support other languages and frameworks—such as Flang/Fortran, PyTorch, TensorFlow, and Julia—as we gain experience with them. We will initially target proxy applications, moving on to respective, important DOE applications later in the project.

Research objectives. Our objectives are to investigate these goals with the following tasks: (a) integrate the LLVM/MLIR compiler with SnowWhite with to facilitate advanced optimization of compute kernels offloaded to heterogeneous devices like GPUs; (b) integrate SnowWhite with the IRIS run time system to allow advanced dynamic scheduling and efficient data movement; (c) develop support for creating analytical performance models that can, in turn, be ingested by SnowWhite to speed up its optimization process;(d) investigate approaches to Machine Learning (ML)-enabled transcoders for heterogeneous programming languages like OpenCL; (e) add support for quantum computing via QASM across Bluestone components to allow transparent access to QASM supported devices; and, (f) actively evaluate our ideas on proxy applications, math kernels, and, later, DOE applications.

Team. Our team comprises experts in the areas of programming systems and program synthesis from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Carnegie Mellon University, and SpiralGen Inc. We actively develop and have substantial experience with relevant software stacks, emerging test beds, HPC architectures, and a variety of HPC and AI applications. We work closely with US Department of Energy applications teams, among others, to use their applications as drivers and optimize their applications for these new architectures. We believe that these close collaborations will be necessary in the early stages of the emergence of these new architectures. For the emerging architectures, we have access to ORNL’s Experimental Computing Laboratory (, which has several field-programmable gate arrays, systems on a chip, and other heterogeneous compute engines.

Last Updated: September 27, 2021 - 9:32 am