Ginkgo: A High Performance Numerical Linear Algebra Library

TitleGinkgo: A High Performance Numerical Linear Algebra Library
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsAnzt, H., T. Cojean, Y-C. Chen, F. Goebel, T. Gruetzmacher, P. Nayak, T. Ribizel, and Y-H. Tsai
JournalJournal of Open Source Software
Date Published2020-08

Ginkgo is a production-ready sparse linear algebra library for high performance computing on GPU-centric architectures with a high level of performance portability and focuses on software sustainability.

The library focuses on solving sparse linear systems and accommodates a large variety of matrix formats, state-of-the-art iterative (Krylov) solvers and preconditioners, which make the library suitable for a variety of scientific applications. Ginkgo supports many architectures such as multi-threaded CPU, NVIDIA GPUs, and AMD GPUs. The heavy use of modern C++ features simplifies the addition of new executor paradigms and algorithmic functionality without introducing significant performance overhead.

Solving linear systems is usually one of the most computationally and memory intensive aspects of any application. Hence there has been a significant amount of effort in this direction with software libraries such as UMFPACK (Davis, 2004) and CHOLMOD (Chen, Davis, Hager, & Rajamanickam, 2008) for solving linear systems with direct methods and PETSc (Balay et al., 2020), Trilinos (“The Trilinos Project Website,” 2020), Eigen (Guennebaud, Jacob, & others, 2010) and many more to solve linear systems with iterative methods. With Ginkgo, we aim to ensure high performance while not compromising portability. Hence, we provide very efficient low level kernels optimized for different architectures and separate these kernels from the algorithms thereby ensuring extensibility and ease of use.

Ginkgo is also a part of the xSDK effort (Bartlett et al., 2017) and available as a Spack (Gamblin et al., 2015) package. xSDK aims to provide infrastructure for and interoperability between a collection of related and complementary software elements to foster rapid and efficient development of scientific applications using High Performance Computing. Within this effort, we provide interoperability with application libraries such as deal.ii (Arndt et al., 2019) and mfem (Anderson et al., 2020). Ginkgo provides wrappers within these two libraries so that they can take advantage of the features of Ginkgo.

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