Third Workshop on Productivity and Performance in High-End Computing (P-PHEC), 12 February 2006, Austin, Texas
The High Productivity Computing Systems (HPCS) program seeks a tenfold productivity increase in High Performance Computing (HPC), where productivity is understood to be a composite of system performance, system robustness, programmability, portability, and administrative concerns. Of these, programmability is the least well understood and perceived to be the most problematic. It has been suggested that an "expertise gap" is at the heart of the problem in HPC application development. Preliminary results from research conducted by Sun Microsystems and other participants in the HPCS program confirm that such an "expertise gap" does exist and does exert a significant confounding influence on HPC application development. Further, the nature of the "expertise gap" appears not to be amenable to previously proposed solutions such as "more education" and "more people." A productivity improvement of the scale sought by the HPCS program will require fundamental transformations in the way HPC applications are developed and maintained.
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