Monthly Archives: August 2015

At Minimal Metrics, we had a fabulous time writing code with our interns this summer. We had 17 applicants from 6 schools. The final two hires were: Leigh Stauffer: Bachelors in CS and Fine Art at Washington and Lee University Keerthi Nallani: MS in CS at University of New Mexico Leigh and Keerthi did a number of things for us this summer, in addition to giving us two nice people to blame when our code didn’t work: Python scripting to process output from performance tools, libpfm and pmu-tools. Making a simple Juana’s Pagodas Volleyball web application out of MongoDB, Node.js, Express and Bootstrap. Designing real time performance data displays using Python, JSON and the amazing D3 toolkit. While we didn’t get through everything we hoped, we all learned a ton in the process. We wish them all the best of luck in their future endeavors!

Here at Minimal Metrics our customers are often our friends – and we have lots of them around the world. Among our favorite people to work with are the brilliant people over at Reservoir Labs, makers of R-Scope among other neat bits of technology. Reservoir also has extensive compiler development expertise. When tasked with optimizing the SPEC CPU benchmarks for a brand new 64-bit multicore (non-Intel) processor, they reached out to the Minimal Metrics crew for guidance. The SPEC benchmarks are tricky animals, solely because one cannot modify the source code to improve its performance; all improvements have to be done by the compiler! On top of that, the source code is ugly, grossly inefficient and poorly documented. In many ways, the SPEC really are the most representative benchmarks in the industry because of those three facts alone. Nevertheless, in order to improve generated code, one still has to understand why the processor is performing the…

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In the previous engagement, Minimal Metrics studied and successfully accounted for the performance differences between compilers of multi-dimensional stencil computations on Intel’s Jake Town and Ivy Town architectures. In that particular case, the Cray and Intel compilers were used and the work was primarily performed on Volta, the Cray CX30m. This machine is just one of the Advanced System Technology Test Beds present in the National Nuclear Security Agencies (NNSA) Advanced Simulation and Computing Project. These machines represent small sections of the design space on the path to an exascale computer, meaning a machine capable of a billion, billion (or 10 to the 18th power) floating point operations per second. For this new engagement, Minimal Metrics will be working closely with the test bed team to do performance studies of codes being developed to run on these (and tomorrow’s exascale) machines. The data gathered is intended not only to help guide…

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