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With petascale systems already available, researchers are devoting their attention to the issues needed to reach the next major level in performance, namely, exascale. Explicit message passing using the Message Passing Interface (MPI) is the most commonly used model for programming petascale systems today. In this paper, the authors investigate what is needed to enable MPI to scale to exascale, both in the MPI specification and in MPI implementations, focusing on issues such as memory consumption and performance. They also present results of experiments related to MPI memory consumption at scale on the IBM Blue Gene/P at Argonne National Laboratory.
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