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A Parallel Strategy for Density Functional Theory Computations on Accelerated Nodes

by Massimiliano Lupo Pasini, Bruno Turcksin, Wenjun Ge, Jean-luc Fattebert
Publication Type
Journal Name
Parallel Computing
Publication Date
Page Numbers
102703 to 102703
December 2

Using the Löwdin orthonormalization of tall-skinny matrices as a proxy-app for wavefunction-based Density Functional Theory solvers, we investigate a distributed memory parallel strategy focusing on Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)-accelerated nodes as available on some of the top ranked supercomputers at the present time. We present numerical results in the strong limit regime, as it is particularly relevant for First-Principles Molecular Dynamics. We also examine how matrix product-based iterative solvers provide a competitive alternative to dense eigensolvers on GPUs, allowing to push the strong scaling limit of these computations to a larger number of distributed tasks. Our strategy, which relies on replicated Gram matrices and efficient collective communications using the NCCL library, leads to a time-to-solution under 0.5 s for the Löwdin orthonormalization of a tall-skinny matrix of 3000 columns on Summit at Oak Ridge Leadership Facility (OLCF). Given the similarity in computational operations between one iteration of a DFT solver and this proxy-app, this shows the possibility of solving accurately the DFT equations well under a minute for 3000 electronic wave functions, and thus perform First-Principles molecular dynamics of physical systems much larger than traditionally solved on CPU systems.