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Tomorrow's supercomputers are projected to have a hybrid architecture. They will be clusters of fat nodes, each consisting of several sockets of multicore CPUs plus one or several accelerators (such as general-purpose GPUs). Programming of these hybrid supercomputers will be challenging, requiring a combination of programming paradigms. At the same time, one of the obstacles to good performance is the many types of data communication involved, more specifically, between the nodes, between the CPU and the accelerators inside each node.
The Message Passing Interface (MPI) is an inter-process communication interface. MPI enables data exchange between different processes through a strictly standardized API, and for this reason, MPI is regarded as the de facto parallel programming model for supercomputers. Recently, the latest standard, MPI-3, has arrived.