Accelerated Application Development: The ORNL Titan Experience

Ray Grout, Wayne Joubert, Rick Archibald, Mark Berrill, W. Brown, Markus Eisenbach, Jeff Larkin, John Levesque, Bronson Messer, Matt Norman, Bobby Philip, Ramanan Sankaran, Arnold Tharrington, John Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus Citations


The use of computational accelerators such as NVIDIA GPUs and Intel Xeon Phi processors is now widespread in the high performance computing community, with many applications delivering impressive performance gains. However, programming these systems for high performance, performance portability and software maintainability has been a challenge. In this paper we discuss experiences porting applications to the Titan system. Titan, which began planning in 2009 and was deployed for general use in 2013, was the first multi-petaflop system based on accelerator hardware. To ready applications for accelerated computing, a preparedness effort was undertaken prior to delivery of Titan. In this paper we report experiences and lessons learned from this process and describe how users are currently making use of computational accelerators on Titan.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)123-138
Number of pages16
JournalComputers and Electrical Engineering
StatePublished - 2015

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2C00-68442


  • accelerated computing
  • code refactoring
  • GPU graphics processing units
  • high performance computing
  • science applications
  • software optimization


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