fi_opx - The Omni-Path Express Fabric Provider


The opx provider is a native libfabric provider suitable for use with Omni-Path fabrics. OPX features great scalability and performance when running libfabric-enabled message layers. OPX requires 3 additonal external development libraries to build: libuuid, libnuma, and the Linux kernel headers.


The OPX provider supports most features defined for the libfabric API.

Key features include:

Endpoint types
The Omni-Path HFI hardware is connectionless and reliable. The OPX provider only supports the FI_EP_RDM endpoint type.

Notes on FI_DIRECTED_RECV capability: The immediate data which is sent within the “senddata” call to support FI_DIRECTED_RECV for OPX must be exactly 4 bytes, which OPX uses to completely identify the source address to an exascale-level number of ranks for tag matching on the recv and can be managed within the MU packet. Therefore the domain attribute “cq_data_size” is set to 4 which is the OFI standard minimum.

Two modes are defined: FI_CONTEXT2 and FI_ASYNC_IOV. The OPX provider requires FI_CONTEXT2.
Additional features
Supported additional features include FABRIC_DIRECT, scalable endpoints, and counters.
FI_PROGRESS_MANUAL and FI_PROGRESS_AUTO are supported, for best performance, use FI_PROGRESS_MANUAL when possible. FI_PROGRESS_AUTO will spawn 1 thread per CQ.
Address vector
FI_AV_MAP and FI_AV_TABLE are both supported. FI_AV_MAP is default.
Memory registration modes
Only FI_MR_SCALABLE is supported.


Endpoint types
Unsupported endpoint types include FI_EP_DGRAM and FI_EP_MSG.
The OPX provider does not support FI_RMA_EVENT and FI_TRIGGER capabilities.


OPX supports the following MPI versions:

Intel MPI from Parallel Studio 2020, update 4. Intel MPI from OneAPI 2021, update 3. Open MPI 4.1.2a1 (Older version of Open MPI will not work). MPICH 3.4.2 and later.


If using with OpenMPI 4.1.x, disable UCX and openib transports. OPX is not compatible with Open MPI 4.1.x PML/BTL.


OPX supports the option of setting the AV mode to use in a build. 3 settings are supported:
  • table
  • map
  • runtime

Using table or map will only allow OPX to use FI_AV_TABLE or FI_AV_MAP. Using runtime will allow OPX to use either AV mode depending on what the application requests. Specifying map or table however may lead to a slight performance improvement depending on the application.

To change OPX_AV, add OPX_AV=table, OPX_AV=map, or OPX_AV=runtime to the configure command. For example, to create a new build with OPX_AV=table:
OPX_AV=table ./configure
make install

There is no way to change OPX_AV after it is set. If OPX_AV is not set in the configure, the default value is runtime.


OPX requires a unique ID for each job. In order for all processes in a job to communicate with each other, they require to use the same UUID. This variable can be set with FI_OPX_UUID=${RANDOM} The default UUID is 00112233445566778899aabbccddeeff.
Boolean (0/1, on/off, true/false, yes/no). Causes the thread to bind itself to the cpu core it is running on. Defaults to “No”
Integer. This setting controls how frequently the reliability/replay function will issue PING requests to a remote connection. Reducing this value may improve performance at the expense of increased traffic on the OPX fabric. Default setting is 500.
Integer. This setting controls how frequently a receiving rank will send ACKs for packets it has received without being prompted through a PING request. A non-zero value N tells the receiving rank to send an ACK for the last N packets every Nth packet. Used in conjunction with an increased value for FI_OPX_RELIABILITY_SERVICE_USEC_MAX may improve performance.

Valid values are 0 (disabled) and powers of 2 in the range of 1-32,768, inclusive.

Default setting is 64.

Boolean (0/1, on/off, true/false, yes/no). Set to true if you’re running a security-enhanced Linux. This enables updating the Jkey used based on system settings. Defaults to “No”
String. Controls how OPX chooses which HFI to use when opening a context. Has two forms:
  • <hfi-unit> Force OPX provider to use hfi-unit.
  • <selector1>[,<selector2>[,...,<selectorN>]] Select HFI based on first matching selector

Where selector is one of the following forms:

  • default to use the default logic
  • fixed:<hfi-unit> to fix to one hfi-unit
  • <selector-type>:<hfi-unit>:<selector-data>

The above fields have the following meaning:

  • selector-type The selector criteria the caller opening the context is evaluated against.
  • hfi-unit The HFI to use if the caller matches the selector.
  • selector-data Data the caller must match (e.g. NUMA node ID).

Where selector-type is one of the following:

  • numa True when caller is local to the NUMA node ID given by selector-data.
  • core True when caller is local to the CPU core given by selector-data.

And selector-data is one of the following:

  • value The specific value to match
  • <range-start>-<range-end> Matches with any value in that range

In the second form, when opening a context, OPX uses the hfi-unit of the first-matching selector. Selectors are evaluated left-to-right. OPX will return an error if the caller does not match any selector.

In either form, it is an error if the specified or selected HFI is not in the Active state. In this case, OPX will return an error and execution will not continue.

With this option, it is possible to cause OPX to try to open more contexts on an HFI than there are free contexts on that HFI. In this case, one or more of the context-opening calls will fail and OPX will return an error. For the second form, as which HFI is selected depends on properties of the caller, deterministic HFI selection requires deterministic caller properties. E.g. for the numa selector, if the caller can migrate between NUMA domains, then HFI selection will not be deterministic.

The logic used will always be the first valid in a selector list. For example, default and fixed will match all callers, so if either are in the beginning of a selector list, you will only use fixed or default regardles of if there are any more selectors.


  • FI_OPX_HFI_SELECT=0 all callers will open contexts on HFI 0.
  • FI_OPX_HFI_SELECT=1 all callers will open contexts on HFI 1.
  • FI_OPX_HFI_SELECT=numa:0:0,numa:1:1,numa:0:2,numa:1:3 callers local to NUMA nodes 0 and 2 will use HFI 0, callers local to NUMA domains 1 and 3 will use HFI 1.
  • FI_OPX_HFI_SELECT=numa:0:0-3,default callers local to NUMA nodes 0 thru 3 (including 0 and 3) will use HFI 0, and all else will use default selection logic.
  • FI_OPX_HFI_SELECT=core:1:0,fixed:0 callers local to CPU core 0 will use HFI 1, and all others will use HFI 0.
  • FI_OPX_HFI_SELECT=default,core:1:0 all callers will use default HFI selection logic.
Integer. Will be deprecated. Please use FI_OPX_SDMA_BOUNCE_BUF_THRESHOLD.
Integer. The maximum message length in bytes that will be copied to the SDMA bounce buffer. For messages larger than this threshold, the send will not be completed until receiver has ACKed. Value must be between 16385 and 2147483646. Defaults to 16385.
Integer. Disables SDMA offload hardware. Default is 0
Boolean (0/1, on/off, true/false, yes/no). Enables expected receive rendezvous using Token ID (TID). Defaults to “No”. This feature is not currently supported.
String. This sets the affinity to be used for any progress threads. Set as a colon-separated triplet as start:end:stride, where stride controls the interval between selected cores. For example, 1:5:2 will have cores 1, 3, and 5 as valid cores for progress threads. By default no affinity is set.
Integer. This setting controls the time (in usecs) between polls for auto progress threads. Default is 1.
Integer. Partition key, a 2 byte positive integer. Default is 0x8001
Integer. Service Level. This will also determine Service Class and Virtual Lane. Default is 0
Integer. The individual packet threshold where lengths above do not use a device registered copy when sending data from GPU. The default threshold is 4096. This has no meaning if Libfabric was not configured with GDRCopy or ROCR support.
Integer. The individual packet threshold where lengths above do not use a device registered copy when receiving data into GPU. The default threshold is 8192. This has no meaning if Libfabric was not configured with GDRCopy or ROCR support.


fabric(7), fi_provider(7), fi_getinfo(7),