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Benchmarking and Dissecting the Nvidia Hopper GPU Architecture

Weile Luo, Ruibo Fan, Zeyu Li, Dayou Du, Qiang Wang, Xiaowen Chu
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou), Guangzhou, China
arXiv:2402.13499 [cs.AR], (21 Feb 2024)

@misc{luo2024benchmarking,

   title={Benchmarking and Dissecting the Nvidia Hopper GPU Architecture},

   author={Weile Luo and Ruibo Fan and Zeyu Li and Dayou Du and Qiang Wang and Xiaowen Chu},

   year={2024},

   eprint={2402.13499},

   archivePrefix={arXiv},

   primaryClass={cs.AR}

}

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Graphics processing units (GPUs) are continually evolving to cater to the computational demands of contemporary general-purpose workloads, particularly those driven by artificial intelligence (AI) utilizing deep learning techniques. A substantial body of studies have been dedicated to dissecting the microarchitectural metrics characterizing diverse GPU generations, which helps researchers understand the hardware details and leverage them to optimize the GPU programs. However, the latest Hopper GPUs present a set of novel attributes, including new tensor cores supporting FP8, DPX, and distributed shared memory. Their details still remain mysterious in terms of performance and operational characteristics. In this research, we propose an extensive benchmarking study focused on the Hopper GPU. The objective is to unveil its microarchitectural intricacies through an examination of the new instruction-set architecture (ISA) of Nvidia GPUs and the utilization of new CUDA APIs. Our approach involves two main aspects. Firstly, we conduct conventional latency and throughput comparison benchmarks across the three most recent GPU architectures, namely Hopper, Ada, and Ampere. Secondly, we delve into a comprehensive discussion and benchmarking of the latest Hopper features, encompassing the Hopper DPX dynamic programming (DP) instruction set, distributed shared memory, and the availability of FP8 tensor cores. The microbenchmarking results we present offer a deeper understanding of the novel GPU AI function units and programming features introduced by the Hopper architecture. This newfound understanding is expected to greatly facilitate software optimization and modeling efforts for GPU architectures. To the best of our knowledge, this study makes the first attempt to demystify the tensor core performance and programming instruction sets unique to Hopper GPUs.
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