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Intel® Xeon Phi™ Coprocessor Architecture and Tools: The Guide for Application Developers (Expert's Voice in Microprocessors)

Intel® Xeon Phi™ Coprocessor Architecture and Tools: The Guide for Application Developers (Expert's Voice in Microprocessors) [Kindle Edition]

Rezaur Rahman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Intel® Xeon Phi™ Coprocessor Architecture and Tools: The Guide for Application Developers provides developers a comprehensive introduction and in-depth look at the Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor architecture and the corresponding parallel data structure tools and algorithms used in the various technical computing applications for which it is suitable. It also examines the source code-level optimizations that can be performed to exploit the powerful features of the processor.

Xeon Phi is at the heart of world’s fastest commercial supercomputer, which thanks to the massively parallel computing capabilities of Intel Xeon Phi processors coupled with Xeon Phi coprocessors attained 33.86 teraflops of benchmark performance in 2013. Extracting such stellar performance in real-world applications requires a sophisticated understanding of the complex interaction among hardware components, Xeon Phi cores, and the applications running on them.

In this book, Rezaur Rahman, an Intel leader in the development of the Xeon Phi coprocessor and the optimization of its applications, presents and details all the features of Xeon Phi core design that are relevant to the practice of application developers, such as its vector units, hardware multithreading, cache hierarchy, and host-to-coprocessor communication channels. Building on this foundation, he shows developers how to solve real-world technical computing problems by selecting, deploying, and optimizing the available algorithms and data structure alternatives matching Xeon Phi’s hardware characteristics. From Rahman’s practical descriptions and extensive code examples, the reader will gain a working knowledge of the Xeon Phi vector instruction set and the Xeon Phi microarchitecture whereby cores execute 512-bit instruction streams in parallel.

What you’ll learn


  • How to calculate theoretical Gigaflops and bandwidth numbers on the hardware and measure them through code segment

  • How to estimate latencies in fetching data from different cache hierarchies, including memory subsystems

  • How to measure PCIe bus bandwidth between the host and coprocessor

  • How to exploit power management and reliability features built into the hardware

  • How to select and manipulate the best tools to tune particular Xeon Phi applications

  • Algorithms and data structures for optimizing Xeon Phi performance

  • Case studies of real-world Xeon Phi technical computing applications in molecular dynamics and financial simulations



Who this book is for

This book is for developers wishing to design and develop technical computing applications to achieve the highest performance available in the Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor hardware. It provides a solid base on the coprocessor architecture, as well as algorithm and data structure case studies for Xeon Phi coprocessor. The book may also be of interest to students and practitioners in computer engineering as a case study for massively parallel core microarchitecture of modern day processors.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2434 KB
  • Print Length: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (2 Sep 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,934 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book, not sure about the architecture 4 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, and a free book certainly makes sense considering how expensive the Xeon Phi product really is. And for those of you who are expecting that a) you can run your x86 code as-is and b) expecting it to be faster than Tesla's, you're in for a bit of a dissappointment.

To sum things up, Xeon Phi is mainly aimed at the Linux platform... actually, Xeon Phi *runs* Linux (this kinda hints that code you write for Phi may not be portable between Win and Linux, which is a problem), requires OpenMP-style #pragma statements (other threading modes such as pthreads also supported) to tell the compiler where to execute the code and, according to the reviews at least, it's not as fast as Tesla for numerics.

To its credit, the fact this 60-core beast does in fact to x86 means that you can write generic programs to run on it, but don't expect to be able to run Java or .NET: in all likelyhood, you can only run programs that written using the Intel C++ compiler (yep, Parallel Studio XE and all that - not a cheap proposition on Windows, but free on Linux, right?). Also, you do get good SIMD which should help for numerics somewhat.

Still, it ultimately comes down to the fact that Tesla requires very specialized programming skills and great knowledge of GPU architecture to leverage correctly whereas with Phi, you could port your C++ (or indeed CUDA) applications without that much effort. Oh, and support for OpenCL is in the works too, though I cannot recommend this technology. Ultimately, Xeon Phi is a lot more tempting than a Tesla, if only because you get 60 general-purpose cores to play with. Even if you do need to learn a bit of API to start using them.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview; great value for the price (free) 28 Oct 2013
By W. Sawyer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I actually only wanted a book to test out my new Kindle; the topic was of personal interest, and the price was right (free -- probably due to Intel's desire to propagate the Xeon Phi technology). What I found was a good, if somewhat biased, overview of the Xeon Phi history, architectural design and other aspects. Good introductory material, before diving into programming the thing. Unfortunately the corresponding text on Xeon Phi programming is not free.

I would recommend the book to anyone interested in getting into Xeon Phi, assuming you have some background with hardware architecture and high performance computing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good intro to the Xeon Phi 15 Jan 2014
By Mike Brooks - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a technical book. It is not for those unfamiliar with how processors work. It is a good intro to this particular brand. Though you will find no free developers guide at this point.
3.0 out of 5 stars Great chip but costly 2 Aug 2014
By kccobra - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great chip but costly. Would have liked to get a better deal but can't with Intel's price locks... 5 star performance, 2 star price.
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