Strategies and Experiences Using High Performance Fortran

Report No. ARL-TR-2437
Authors: Dale Shires, Ram Mohan, and Andrew Mark
Date/Pages: March 2001; 42 pages
Abstract: Since its beginnings in the 1950's, the Fortran language has been the language of choice for most scientific and engineering programming. Compilers, seizing on the simplicity of the language, have historically generated highly-optimized machine code. High performance Fortran (HPF) is a relative new addition to the Fortran dialect It is an attempt to provide an efficient high-level Fortran parallel programming language for the latest generation of been debatable. By operating at a high level, the HPF standard does not provide some low-level detail required to achieve maximum performance in a multiprocessor system. Message passing using highly-tuned libraries, such as the message passing interface (MPI), will more often than not require less wall clock time than a comparable HPF code. However, the HPF language and its compilers continue to mature and improve. HPF provides a convenient way to represent parallelism for those most comfortable with data parallel methodologies. As such, it can require a shorter time to solution and provide an acceptable level of efficiency. This report discusses our experiences with the language, as well as coding strategies and vendor-specific "hooks" that can be used to boost performance.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2001