Enabling a High Throughput Real Time Data Pipeline for a Large Radio Telescope with GPUs
(Computer Physics Communications, 2010.)
Enabling a High Throughput Real Time Data Pipeline for a Large Radio Telescope with GPUs Authors Richard G. Edgar; Mike A. Clark; Kevin Dale; Daniel A. Mitchell; Stephen M. Ord; Randall B. Wayth; Hanspeter Pfister; Lincoln J. Greenhill Abstract The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is a next-generation radio telescope currently under construction in the remote Western Australia Outback. Raw data will be generated continuously at 5 GiB/s, grouped into 8 s cadences. This high throughput motivates the development of on-site, real time processing and reduction in preference to archiving, transport and off-line processing. Each batch of 8 s data must be completely reduced before the next batch arrives. Maintaining real time operation will require a sustained performance of around 2:5 TFLOP/s (including convolutions, FFTs, interpolations and matrix multiplications). We describe a scalable heterogeneous computing pipeline implementation, exploiting both the high computing density and FLOP-per-Watt ratio of modern GPUs. The architecture is highly parallel within and across nodes, with all major processing elements performed by GPUs. Necessary scatter-gather operations along the pipeline are loosely synchronized between the nodes hosting the GPUs. The MWA will be a frontier scientific instrument and a pathfinder for planned peta- and exascale facilities.