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Intel Xeon Phi needs support from system software components to operate properly and interoperate with other hardware components in a system. The system software component of the Intel Xeon Phi system, known as the Intel Many Integrated Core (MIC) Platform Software Stack (MPSS), provides this functionality. Unlike other device drivers implemented to support PCIe-based hardware, such as graphics cards, Intel Xeon Phi was designed to support the execution of technical computing applications in the familiar HPC environment through the MPI environment, as well as other offload programming usage models. Because the coprocessor core is based on the traditional Intel P5 processor core, it can execute a complete operating system like any other computer. The disk drive is simulated by a RAM drive and supports an Internet protocol (IP)-based virtual socket to provide networking communication with the host. This design choice allows the coprocessor to appear as a node to the rest of the system and allows a usage model common in the HPC programming environment. The operating system resides on the coprocessor and implements complementary functionalities provided by the driver layer on the host side to achieve its system management goals.
- Xeon Phi System Software
- Chapter 7