PMBS 2016
Conference paper

Performance analysis and optimization of Clang's OpenMP 4.5 GPU Support

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The Clang implementation of OpenMP® 4.5 now provides full support for the specification, offering the only open source option for targeting NVIDIA® GPUs. While using OpenMP allows portability across different architectures, matching native CUDA® performance without major code restructuring is an open research issue.In order to analyze the current performance, we port a suite of representative benchmarks, and the mature mini-apps TeaLeaf, CloverLeaf, and SNAP to the Clang OpenMP 4.5 compiler. We then collect performance results for those ports, and their equivalent CUDA ports, on an NVIDIA Kepler GPU. Through manual analysis of the generated code, we are able to discover the root cause of the performance differences between OpenMP and CUDA.A number of improvements can be made to the existing compiler implementation to enable performance that approaches that of hand-optimized CUDA. Our first observation was that the generated code did not use fused-multiply-add instructions, which was resolved using an existing flag. Next we saw that the compiler was not passing any loads through non-coherent cache, and added a new flag to the compiler to assist with this problem.We then observed that the compiler partitioning of threads and teams could be improved upon for the majority of kernels, which guided work to ensure that the compiler can pick more optimal defaults. We uncovered a register allocation issue with the existing implementation that, when fixed alongside the other issues, enables performance that is close to CUDA.Finally, we use some different kernels to emphasize that support for managing memory hierarchies needs to be introduced into the specification, and propose a simple option for programming shared caches.