ASEArch - Algorithms and Software for Emerging Architectures

Workshop: Maxeler Dataflow Computing

STFC Hartree Centre, Daresbury Laboratory, Wednesday 5th June 2013

Workshop description:

There are great challenges in the development of scientific computation: data sets are growing exponentially, models are becoming increasingly complex, while many of the latest machines are getting more costly and harder to program.

This one day workshop will provide an introduction to a new dataflow approach for running scientific computation developed by Maxeler Technologies, which typically provides 20-50x the performance of conventional ‘controlflow’ CPU machines. Maxeler develops dataflow computing hardware systems, compilers and programming tools, and complete application solutions. Maxeler systems are 20x smaller and lower power than conventional systems for highly parallel computational problems. Over 80 universities around the world have joined the Maxeler University Program to utilize dataflow computing technology for research and teaching.

The dataflow approach involves transforming scientific algorithms into dataflow programs which can be compiled for special-purpose Dataflow Engines (DFEs). Each DFE is low power and has a large memory capacity, with multiple DFEs making up single dataflow compute nodes with high performance and up to 400GB of RAM.

Dataflow computing technology has been recently finding success commercially in fields such as oil and gas exploration and financial risk analytics, while universities and research labs around the world are applying the technique to scientific areas as diverse as fluid dynamics and quantum chemistry.

This 1 day workshop provides an excellent introduction to dataflow computing for high performance scientific computation. The workshop is a mix of tutorial presentations, case studies and on-computer exercises, covering the essential theoretical background as well as how to program dataflow systems.




10:00 - 10:15

Welcome and Introductions

10:15 - 11:00

Presentation: Introduction to Dataflow Computing (slides PDF 2.27 MB)

11:00 - 11:15


11:15 - 12:45

Presentation: Programming with MaxCompiler (slides PDF 1.01 MB)

12:45 - 13:45


13:45 - 14:15

Interactive demo: MaxCompiler walkthrough

14:15 - 16:00

On-computer exercise

16:00 - 16:15


16:15 - 17:00

Presentation: Application case study: weather modeling (slides PDF 1.17 MB)

17:00 - 18:00

On-computer exercise (continued)


Additional Information:

The Maxeler Vision: Maximum Performance Computing (PDF 1.33 MB)

Presentation by Craig Davies and Glenn Rosenberg - Maxeler Research Areas for Energy-Efficient Computing (PDF 1.47 MB)

White Paper - Programming MPC Systems (PDF 570 kB)

Maxeler Brochure - Maximum Performance Computing Solutions (PDF 5.2 MB)

Maxeler web site