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Help needed in setting up discontinued 3120A Phi Xeon processor

Dear Intel,

About 4 1/2 years back, I was offered at a good price  due to my academic status the starter kit for the 3120A processor by Intel  which I delegated to  my student to install for his research project which unfortunately he did not follow thru, preferring to  go on with his experimental measurements.  He also misplaced the   strater kit instruction card which had  links to downloadable software and  instructions for installing the system, together with other finer details.. I was retired by Univ Malaya and have no funds for research, so I wish to rehabilitate this processor for my research in heat transfer and thermodynamics that requires a fair deal of  MD simulations.

At that time, we used the  CENTOS 6.5  Linux O.S. , and had the possibility of using the MPSS software  compatible with CENTOS 6.5  and INTEL Composer XE 2013 SP1 that came with the starter kit download site.


Being retired but still having an official position in the Chemistry department, Univ of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, where I am not given any funds or grants, meaning I have to use my own pension to fund my research which involves some high speed computations, I feel that this Phi card is still relevant for my research and I wish to use it by installing it myself with some broad help from you.

Looking into your sites, I noticed that  more recent MPSS versions   have been issued, and for  the 3120A series, there is only reference to the version for CENTOS/REdhat 7.3.

My question is this:

Can I install the most recent versions (CENTOS 7.6), the most recent MPSS and Intel Composer compiler suite and math kernel library compatible with CENTOS 7.6  to  install and run the  3120A processor?

If the answer is yes,could you very kindly list out the software that I must  download, together with the instruction files,  providing the links and permissions and licenses, and some hints to fine tune everything? Please also direct me to the literature I must read.


IF the answer is no, could you kindly list out the most recent discontinued  software  and linux Centos OS version that I must  download which is compatible with the 3120A coprocessor, together with the instruction files,  providing the links and permissions and licenses, and some hints to fine tune everything for the use of older software (MPSS with version number, INTEL Composer suite  with version number , MKS library with  version and so on?  Please also direct me to the literature I must read.


I am determined to have a go at using the  Phi card. It still seems rather powerful in terms of its capabilities even in 2019 that I wish to exploit.

Please assist me as far as you can.

If you can provide me with an upgraded  starter kit software suite compatible with the 3120A processor , that would be very helpful.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes, 

Christopher G Jesudason


My host computer has an intel serverboard, W2600CR2, and two 2.6 G Hz 8 core, 16 thread Xeon processors. E5-2650v2 .

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4 Replies
New Contributor III

A short answer to your question is: yes, this should be possible.

Longer answer:

  • go for CentOS 7.6, as CentOS 6 is end-of-life somewhere next year
  • Intel stopped providing modules for recent (7.5, 7.6) CentOS kernels; I've discussed this with Intel reps (including a VP!) but so far I have not seen any change in this, Instead, you can grab modules for CentOS 7.6 from My MPSS page
  • In order to actually compile code for the Xeon Phi gen1 you will need to download an older version of the Intel Composer XE suite; I believe the latest version to support the Xeon Phi (mic target) is v2017, but it could also be v2016; as long as you do not need the latest&greatest C++ 2014 features then you should be fine with this older version

The main question you should ask yourself: is it worth the hassle?  getting a Xeon Phi up and running requries some IT skill, not academic skills. Here's a rough recipe for how I'd do it:

  • install the card in the server
  • install CentOS 7.6 on the server
  • verify that the OS can see the card - this is were things tend to break down on unknown motherboards. You should see something like this:
# lspci | grep -i " Phi "
8a:00.0 Co-processor: Intel Corporation Xeon Phi coprocessor 5100 series (rev 11)
  • if the OS can see the card, then download and install the mpss module stack from the Intel MPSS software stack page (the installation guide is included in the download)
  • install my patched modules from My MPSS page to get support for the latest CentOS 7.6 kernels
  • reboot the box and verify that the mpss daemon is up and running and that the card is now accessible:
# systemctl status mpss
* mpss.service - Intel(R) MPSS control service
   Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/mpss.service; enabled; vendor preset: disabled)
   Active: active (running) since Tue 2019-03-19 16:50:27 CET; 1 months 11 days ago
  Process: 9510 ExecStart=/etc/init.d/mpss start (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
 Main PID: 9631 (mpssd)
   CGroup: /system.slice/mpss.service
           `-9631 /usr/sbin/mpssd

Mar 19 16:49:21  systemd[1]: Starting Intel(R) MPSS control service...
Mar 19 16:49:21  mpss[9510]: Loading MIC module: [  OK  ]
Mar 19 16:50:27  mpss[9510]: Starting Intel(R) MPSS: [  OK  ]
Mar 19 16:50:27  mpss[9510]: mic0: online (mode: linux image: /usr/share/mpss/boot/bzImage-knig...rner)

# micinfo 
MicInfo Utility Log
Created Tue Apr 30 10:16:03 2019

	System Info
		HOST OS			: Linux
		OS Version		: 3.10.0-957.10.1.el7.x86_64
		Driver Version		: 3.8.5-1
		MPSS Version		: 3.8.5

		Host Physical Memory	: 64232 MB

Device No: 0, Device Name: mic0

		Flash Version 		 :
		SMC Firmware Version	 : 1.17.6900
		SMC Boot Loader Version	 : 1.8.4326
		Coprocessor OS Version 	 :
  • finally, install the Intel Composer XE 2017 suite and compile and run your first Xeon Phi rev1 program



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This answer helped me too.



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I always thank the entire community for helping



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JJK . Thanks. I Will be trying to install it after an absence of 8 months due to circumstances. Thanks for your help.Much appreciated.

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