ORNL and SNL researchers accelerate combustion simulation using GPUs

Recent work from a team of researchers from ORNL (Kyle Spafford, Jeremy Meredith, Jeffrey Vetter, and Ramanan Sankaran) and from Sandia National Laboratories (Jacqueline Chen and Ray Grout) has explored the performance benefits and accuracy tradeoffs of using graphics processors (GPUs) to accelerate S3D, one of DOE’s leading computational science applications that simulates turbulent combustion. Although they were initially designed for 3D graphics, GPUs have evolved to be an exciting platform for scientific computing due to their impressive processing capabilities and relatively low cost. The results show that computation on the GPU is able to preserve accuracy by using double precision, and execute the application’s most time consuming code up to nine times faster than a traditional CPU. These results will be presented in a paper, entitled “Accelerating S3D: A GPGPU Case Study,” at the upcoming International Workshop on Algorithms, Models, and Tools for Parallel Computing on Heterogeneous Platforms (HeteroPar 2009).