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Extrinsic Program Units


The HPF global model of computation extends (and restricts) Fortran to provide programmers with the Fortran model of computation implementable efficiently on a wide class of hardware architectures with, in general, multiple processors, multiple memories with non-uniform access characteristics, and multiple interconnections. This model of computation presents a single logical thread of control, including Fortran's data parallel features such as array syntax and the FORALL statement, and data visibility defined by the scoping rules of Fortran. In particular, this model does not require the use of low-level features such as threads libraries and explicit message passing to exploit such architectures. Programmers expect their HPF compilers to generate efficient code by using HPF's features to assist in mapping data and computation to the given hardware architecture.

This chapter defines the extrinsic mechanism by which HPF program units may use non-HPF program units that don't use the HPF global model. It describes how to write an explicit interface for a non-HPF procedure and defines the caller's assumptions about handling distributed and replicated data at the interface. This allows the programmer to use non-HPF language facilities, for example, to descend to a lower level of abstraction to handle problems that are not efficiently addressed by HPF, to hand-tune critical kernels, or to call optimized libraries. Such an interface can also be used to interface HPF to other languages, such as C.