BSC hosts the second edition of the European Memory Systems Forum

05 March 2024

The event addressed the challenges hindering the progress of high-performance memory systems

The Barcelona Supercomputing Center- Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS) hosted the second edition of the European Memory Systems Forum from 29 February-1 March 2024, in Barcelona. Co-sponsored by Micron, this forum brought together industry leaders and research institutes to explore lessons learned and to address challenges hindering the progress of high-performance memory systems. These systems play a crucial role in the applications and system scalability of high-performance computing systems.

The forum counted with the participation of BSC-CNS, Micron, ZeroPoint, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH), Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) of University of Lisbon, Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores- Investigação e Desenvolvimento (INESC-ID) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

With the complexity of advanced memory systems expected to increase, three key topics set the tone of the event:

  • Heterogeneous and disaggregated memory systems
  • Processing in/near memory
  • Performance profiling and analysis

These topics, originating from the first European Memory Systems Forum in June 2022, were revisited in context of the recent product and prototypes that combine high-bandwidth memory (HMB) with conventional DIMMs and Compute Express Link (CXL) memory expanders. In these systems, users not only decide where to store their data, they also decide whether part of the processing can be offloaded to the near-data accelerators available in advanced memory devices.

BSC Memory systems team leader, Petar Radojkovic, highlighted that “efficient design and use of increasingly complex high-performance memory systems can be achieved only by aligning diverse perspectives from major industrial, research and developing companies. The European Memory Systems Forum is a place to have an open discussion for sharing knowledge and experiences.”

High-performance memory systems have key implications for EU research and industry. The 2022 and 2024 forums played an important role in bringing together key players in the field to identify bottlenecks and future developments. The results of these two forums, pursued under the framework of the DEEP-SEA project, will live on in a series of collaborations. The EU-funded European Processor Initiative (EPI-SGA2) provides a benchmark comparing memory systems in high-end servers and hardware simulators, while the Performance Optimisation and Productivity (POP-3) Centre of Excellence in HPC integrates results to enhance the memory-related analysis of production HPC applications. DEEP-SEA developments will also be used in the Zettascale Laboratory project for the simulation of memory systems in future HPC platforms that will be designed and developed in Europe.

About the DEEP-SEA project

DEEP-SEA (Software for Exascale Architectures) is a European-funded project with a budget of 15 million euros that started on 01 April 2021 and will last 36 months. The Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC), which is part of the Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ), coordinates this project that brings together a multidisciplinary consortium formed by the following beneficiaries: Atos (Bull SAS), the BSC, Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA), European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Idryma Technologias Kai Erevnas (FORTH), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH), Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ), ParTec AG, Technische Universität Darmstadt and the Technical University of Munich.