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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-3
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-3
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: development and technical paper 17 Jan 2020

Submitted as: development and technical paper | 17 Jan 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Single precision arithmetic in ECHAM radiation reduces runtime and energy consumption

Alessandro Cotronei and Thomas Slawig Alessandro Cotronei and Thomas Slawig
  • Kiel Marine Science (KMS) – Centre for Interdisciplinary Marine Science, Dep. of Computer Science, Kiel University, 24098 Kiel, Germany

Abstract. We converted the radiation part of the atmospheric model ECHAM to single precision arithmetic. We analyzed different conversion strategies and finally used a step by step change of all modules, subroutines and functions. We found out that a small code portion still requires higher precision arithmetic. We generated code that can be easily changed from double to single precision and vice versa, basically using a simple switch in one module. We compared the output of the single precision version in the coarse resolution with observational data and with the original double precision code. The results of both versions are comparable. We extensively tested different parallelization options with respect to the possible performance gain, in both coarse and low resolution. The single precision radiation itself was accelerated by about 40%, whereas the speed-up for the whole ECHAM model using the converted radiation achieved 18% in the best configuration. We further measured the energy consumption, which could also be reduced.

Alessandro Cotronei and Thomas Slawig

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Alessandro Cotronei and Thomas Slawig

Alessandro Cotronei and Thomas Slawig

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Latest update: 28 Feb 2020
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Short summary
We converted the radiation part of the atmospheric model ECHAM to single precision arithmetic, using a step by step change of all modules. A small code portion still requires higher precision. The generated code can be easily changed from double to single precision and vice versa. The quality of the output of the single precision version is comparable to observational data and the one of the original code. The run-time was reduced by 40 %, and also the energy consumption could be decreased.
We converted the radiation part of the atmospheric model ECHAM to single precision arithmetic,...
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