Ginkgo – A Math Library designed for Platform Portability

Terry Cojean, Yu-Hsiang "Mike" Tsai, Hartwig Anzt
Steinbuch Centre for Computing, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
arXiv:2011.08879 [cs.DC], (17 Nov 2020)


   title={Ginkgo — A Math Library designed for Platform Portability},

   author={Terry Cojean and Yu-Hsiang "Mike" Tsai and Hartwig Anzt},






The first associations to software sustainability might be the existence of a continuous integration (CI) framework; the existence of a testing framework composed of unit tests, integration tests, and end-to-end tests; and also the existence of software documentation. However, when asking what is a common deathblow for a scientific software product, it is often the lack of platform and performance portability. Against this background, we designed the Ginkgo library with the primary focus on platform portability and the ability to not only port to new hardware architectures, but also achieve good performance. In this paper we present the Ginkgo library design, radically separating algorithms from hardware-specific kernels forming the distinct hardware executors, and report our experience when adding execution backends for NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel GPUs. We also comment on the different levels of performance portability, and the performance we achieved on the distinct hardware backends.
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