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Computer Languages & Systems Software


Caffeine: CoArray Fortran Framework of Efficient Interfaces to Network Environments

Caffeine is a parallel runtime library that aims to support Fortran compilers with a programming-model-agnostic application binary interface (ABI) to various communication libraries. Current work is on supporting the ABI with the GASNet-EX or with POSIX processes. Future plans include support for an alternative MPI back end.


Katherine Rasmussen, Damian Rouson, Naje George, Dan Bonachea, Hussain Kadhem, Brian Friesen, "Agile Acceleration of LLVM Flang Support for Fortran 2018 Parallel Programming", Research Poster at the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis (SC22), November 2022, doi: 10.25344/S4CP4S

The LLVM Flang compiler ("Flang") is currently Fortran 95 compliant, and the frontend can parse Fortran 2018. However, Flang does not have a comprehensive 2018 test suite and does not fully implement the static semantics of the 2018 standard. We are investigating whether agile software development techniques, such as pair programming and test-driven development (TDD), can help Flang to rapidly progress to Fortran 2018 compliance. Because of the paramount importance of parallelism in high-performance computing, we are focusing on Fortran’s parallel features, commonly denoted “Coarray Fortran.” We are developing what we believe are the first exhaustive, open-source tests for the static semantics of Fortran 2018 parallel features, and contributing them to the LLVM project. A related effort involves writing runtime tests for parallel 2018 features and supporting those tests by developing a new parallel runtime library: the CoArray Fortran Framework of Efficient Interfaces to Network Environments (Caffeine).

Damian Rouson, Dan Bonachea, "Caffeine: CoArray Fortran Framework of Efficient Interfaces to Network Environments", Proceedings of the Eighth Annual Workshop on the LLVM Compiler Infrastructure in HPC (LLVM-HPC2022), Dallas, Texas, USA, IEEE, November 2022, doi: 10.25344/S4459B

This paper provides an introduction to the CoArray Fortran Framework of Efficient Interfaces to Network Environments (Caffeine), a parallel runtime library built atop the GASNet-EX exascale networking library. Caffeine leverages several non-parallel Fortran features to write type- and rank-agnostic interfaces and corresponding procedure definitions that support parallel Fortran 2018 features, including communication, collective operations, and related services. One major goal is to develop a runtime library that can eventually be considered for adoption by LLVM Flang, enabling that compiler to support the parallel features of Fortran. The paper describes the motivations behind Caffeine's design and implementation decisions, details the current state of Caffeine's development, and previews future work. We explain how the design and implementation offer benefits related to software sustainability by lowering the barrier to user contributions, reducing complexity through the use of Fortran 2018 C-interoperability features, and high performance through the use of a lightweight communication substrate.