Intel Xeon Phi accelerated Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Goddard microphysics scheme
J. Mielikainen, B. Huang, and A. H.-L. Huang
Intel Parallel Computing Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Received: 23 Oct 2014 – Accepted for review: 17 Nov 2014 – Discussion started: 12 Dec 2014
Abstract. The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is a numerical weather prediction system designed to serve both atmospheric research and operational forecasting needs. The WRF development is a done in collaboration around the globe. Furthermore, the WRF is used by academic atmospheric scientists, weather forecasters at the operational centers and so on. The WRF contains several physics components. The most time consuming one is the microphysics. One microphysics scheme is the Goddard cloud microphysics scheme. It is a sophisticated cloud microphysics scheme in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The Goddard microphysics scheme is very suitable for massively parallel computation as there are no interactions among horizontal grid points. Compared to the earlier microphysics schemes, the Goddard scheme incorporates a large number of improvements. Thus, we have optimized the Goddard scheme code. In this paper, we present our results of optimizing the Goddard microphysics scheme on Intel Many Integrated Core Architecture (MIC) hardware. The Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor is the first product based on Intel MIC architecture, and it consists of up to 61 cores connected by a high performance on-die bidirectional interconnect. The Intel MIC is capable of executing a full operating system and entire programs rather than just kernels as the GPU does. The MIC coprocessor supports all important Intel development tools. Thus, the development environment is one familiar to a vast number of CPU developers. Although, getting a maximum performance out of MICs will require using some novel optimization techniques. Those optimization techniques are discussed in this paper. The results show that the optimizations improved performance of Goddard microphysics scheme on Xeon Phi 7120P by a factor of 4.7×. In addition, the optimizations reduced the Goddard microphysics scheme's share of the total WRF processing time from 20.0 to 7.5%. Furthermore, the same optimizations improved performance on Intel Xeon E5-2670 by a factor of 2.8× compared to the original code.
Mielikainen, J., Huang, B., and Huang, A. H.-L.: Intel Xeon Phi accelerated Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Goddard microphysics scheme, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., 7, 8941-8973, doi:10.5194/gmdd-7-8941-2014, 2014.