K-Athena: a performance portable structured grid finite volume magnetohydrodynamics code

In Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems

Large scale simulations are a key pillar of modern research and require ever-increasing computational resources. Different novel manycore architectures have emerged in recent years on the way towards the exascale era. Performance portability is required to prevent repeated non-trivial refactoring of a code for different architectures. We combine ATHENA++, an existing magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) CPU code, with KOKKOS, a performance portable on-node parallel programming paradigm, into K-ATHENA to allow efficient simulations on multiple architectures using a single codebase. We present profiling and scaling results for different platforms including Intel Skylake CPUs, Intel Xeon Phis, and NVIDIA GPUs. K-ATHENA achieves $> 10^8$ cell-updates/s on a single V100 GPU for second-order double precision MHD calculations, and a speedup of 30 on up to 24,576 GPUs on Summit (compared to 172,032 CPU cores), reaching $1:94\times10^12$ total cell-updates/s at 76 percent parallel efficiency. Using a roofline analysis we demonstrate that the overall performance is currently limited by DRAM bandwidth and calculate a performance portability metric of 62.8 percent. Finally, we present the implementation strategies used and the challenges encountered in maximizing performance. This will provide other research groups with a straightforward approach to prepare their own codes for the exascale era. K-ATHENA is available at https://gitlab.com/pgrete/kathena.

Forrest Glines
Forrest Glines
Metropolis Postdoctoral Fellow in Exascale Computational Astrophysics

Developing exascale-capable performance-portable astrophysics simulations