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CPMD scaling to millions of threads

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Shedding Light on Lithium/Air Batteries Using Millions of Threads on the BG/Q Supercomputer

HFX CPMD scaling







In this work, we present a novel parallelization scheme for a highly efficient evaluation of the Hartree–Fock exact exchange (HFX) in ab initio molecular dynamics simula- tions, specifically tailored for condensed phase simulations. Our developments allow one to achieve the necessary accuracy for the evaluation of the HFX in a highly controllable manner. We show here that our solutions can take great advantage of the latest trends in HPC platforms, such as extreme threading, short vector instructions and highly dimensional interconnection networks. Indeed, all these trends are evident in the IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer. We demonstrate an unprecedented scalability up to 6,291,456 threads (96 BG/Q racks) with a near perfect parallel efficiency, which represents a more than 20-fold improvement as compared to the current state of the art. In terms of reduction of time to solution, we achieved an improvement that can surpass a 10-fold decrease in runtime with respect to directly comparable approaches. We exploit this development to enhance the accuracy of DFT based molecular dynamics by using the PBE0 hybrid functional. This approach allowed us to investigate the chemical behavior of organic solvents in one of the most challenging research topics in energy storage, lithium/air batteries, and to propose alternative solvents with enhanced stability to ensure an appropriate reversible electrochemical reaction. This step is key for the development of a viable lithium/air storage technology, which would have been a daunting computational task using standard methods. Recent research has shown that the electrolyte plays a key role in non-aqueous lithium/air batteries in producing the appropriate reversible electrochemical reduction. In particu- lar, the chemical degradation of propylene carbonate, the typical electrolyte used, by lithium peroxide has been demonstrated by molecular dynamics simulations of highly realistic models. Reaching the necessary high accuracy in these simulations is a daunting computational task using standard methods. 

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