Virtual channel multiplexing in networks of workstations with irregular topology

F. Silla, J. Duato, A. Sivasubramaniam, C. R. Das

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Networks of workstations are becoming a cost-effective alternative for small-scale parallel computing. Although they may not provide the closely coupled environment of multicomputers and multiprocessors, they meet the needs of a great variety of parallel computing problems at a lower cost. However in order to achieve a high efficiency, the interconnects used to build the network of workstations must provide a very high bandwidth and low latencies, making their design a critical issue. Recently, a very efficient flow control protocol for networks of workstations has been proposed by the authors. This protocol multiplexes physical channels between several virtual channels and minimizes the use of control flits by transmitting several data flits each time a virtual channel gets the link. In this protocol, a virtual channel sends data flits until the message blocks or is completely transmitted. However it can reduce network throughput, by increasing short message latency, due to long messages monopolizing channels and hindering the progress of short messages. In this paper, we analyze the impact of limiting the number of flits (block size) that a virtual channel can send once it gets the link. We propose a new version of the previous flow control protocol that is easily, implementable on hardware. Simulation results show that limiting the maximum block size is not a good design decision, because the overall network performance decreases. Only when short message latency is crucial is it is acceptable to limit the block size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 5th International Conference on High Performance Computing, HiPC 1998
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages147-154
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)0818691948
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Event5th International Conference on High Performance Computing, HiPC 1998 - Chennai, Madras, India
Duration: Dec 17 1998Dec 20 1998

Publication series

NameProceedings - Symposium on Computer Architecture and High Performance Computing
ISSN (Print)1550-6533

Other

Other5th International Conference on High Performance Computing, HiPC 1998
CountryIndia
CityChennai, Madras
Period12/17/9812/20/98

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Software

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    Silla, F., Duato, J., Sivasubramaniam, A., & Das, C. R. (1998). Virtual channel multiplexing in networks of workstations with irregular topology. In Proceedings - 5th International Conference on High Performance Computing, HiPC 1998 (pp. 147-154). (Proceedings - Symposium on Computer Architecture and High Performance Computing). IEEE Computer Society. https://doi.org/10.1109/HIPC.1998.737983