Performance and Energy Usage of Workloads on KNL and Haswell Architecture

Tyler Allen, Christopher S. Daley, Douglas Doerfler, Brian Austin and Nicholas J. Wright

Manycore architectures are an energy-efficient step towards exascale computing within a constrained power budget. The Intel Knights Landing (KNL) manycore chip is a specific example of this and has seen early adoption by a number of HPC facilities. It is therefore important to understand the performance and energy usage characteristics of KNL. In this paper, we evaluate the performance and energy efficiency of KNL in contrast to the Xeon (Haswell) architecture for applications representative of the workload of users at NERSC. We consider the optimal MPI/OpenMP configuration of each application and use the results to characterize KNL in contrast to Haswell. As well as traditional DDR memory, KNL contains MCDRAM and we also evaluate its efficacy. Our results show that, averaged over our benchmarks, KNL is 1.84$\times$ more energy efficient than Haswell and has 1.27$\times$ greater performance.