News Column

"Mpi Communication of Gpu Buffers" in Patent Application Approval Process

June 19, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- A patent application by the inventors VandaVaart, Rolf (Harvard, CA); Murray, Timothy James (San Francisco, CA); Buckingham, Peter Michael (San Jose, CA), filed on November 29, 2012, was made available online on June 5, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to Nvidia Corporation.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Embodiments of the invention relate to communication systems and software for enhancing the efficiency and speed of data transmission within and across one or more computer systems.

"Conventional communications software allows a user to run programs across multiple, separate computer systems and/or across multiple processors within the same computer system. One feature of this software is the ability to send and receive data between processes running on separate computer systems and/or processors. Send and receive buffers located in host memory are required for transmitting the data between the processes. The communications software causes data to be transmitted from the send buffer to the receive buffer.

"In operation, when sending data that resides in a location other than the host memory, such as in a graphics processing unit memory, the data has to be moved explicitly into a send buffer located in host memory (or located at some other intermediate location) before that data can be sent to another computer system or processor. In the receiving computer system or processor, the data has to be received into a receive buffer located in host memory (or located at some other intermediate location) and then moved explicitly into a destination location outside of the host memory, such as another graphics processing unit memory.

"One drawback to this approach is the requirement to move data back and forth between send/receive buffers. In particular, it is a burden for programmers, to transmit data, to explicitly move the data from a source location outside of host memory to the send buffer; and to receive data, to explicitly move the data from the receive buffer to a destination location outside of host memory.

"Accordingly, what is needed in the art is a more effective technique for transmitting data within and across multiple, separate computer systems."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Embodiments of the invention include method for transmitting data between graphics processing unit (GPU) buffers, the method comprising receiving a handle from a send message passing interface (MPI) engine that resides in a first machine; calling into a software stack with the handle, wherein the software stack resides in the first machine; receiving an address of a send GPU buffer from the software stack, wherein the send GPU buffer resides in the first machine; and issuing a command for a memory access operation to retrieve data from the send GPU buffer.

"Embodiments of the invention include a non-transitory computer readable storage medium comprising instructions for transmitting data between graphics processing unit (GPU) buffers that, when executed by a message passing interface (MPI) engine, cause the MPI engine to carry out the steps of receiving a handle from a send message passing interface MPI engine that resides in a first machine; calling into a software stack with the handle, wherein the software stack resides in the first machine; receiving an address of a send GPU buffer from the software stack, wherein the send GPU buffer resides in the first machine; and issuing a command for a memory access operation to retrieve data from the send GPU buffer.

"Embodiments of the invention include a system for transmitting data between graphics processing unit (GPU) buffers, the system comprising a receive GPU buffer that resides in a first machine; and a receive message passing interface (MPI) engine that resides in the first machine, the receive MPI engine configured to perform the steps of receiving a handle from a send message passing interface (MPI) engine that resides in a first machine; calling into a software stack with the handle, wherein the software stack resides in the first machine; receiving an address of a send GPU buffer from the software stack, wherein the send GPU buffer resides in the first machine; and issuing a command for a memory access operation to retrieve data from the send GPU buffer.

"An advantage of the embodiments of the invention is more direct and efficient data transfer technique that eliminates the requirement for a user (e.g., a programmer) to move data to system memory and/or another intermediate buffer before moving the data from an initial location to a desired location.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"So that the manner in which the above recited features of the embodiments of the invention can be understood in detail, a more particular description of the invention, briefly summarized above, may be had by reference to embodiments, some of which are illustrated in the appended drawings. It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only typical embodiments of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a network system configured to implement one or more aspects of the present invention.

"FIG. 2 is a flow diagram of method steps for transmitting data between two computer systems via a network connection, according to one embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 3 is a block diagram of a computer system having two graphics processing units and configured to implement one or more aspects of the present invention.

"FIG. 4 is a flow diagram of method steps for transmitting data between two graphics processing units within the same computer system, according to one embodiment of the present invention."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: VandaVaart, Rolf; Murray, Timothy James; Buckingham, Peter Michael. Mpi Communication of Gpu Buffers. Filed November 29, 2012 and posted June 5, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=626&p=13&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140529.PD.&OS=PD/20140529&RS=PD/20140529

Keywords for this news article include: Software, Nvidia Corporation.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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