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Proceedings Paper

Accelerated modeling and simulation with a desktop supercomputer
Author(s): Eric J. Kelmelis; John R. Humphrey; James P. Durbano; Fernando E. Ortiz
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Paper Abstract

The performance of modeling and simulation tools is inherently tied to the platform on which they are implemented. In most cases, this platform is a microprocessor, either in a desktop PC, PC cluster, or supercomputer. Microprocessors are used because of their familiarity to developers, not necessarily their applicability to the problems of interest. We have developed the underlying techniques and technologies to produce supercomputer performance from a standard desktop workstation for modeling and simulation applications. This is accomplished through the combined use of graphics processing units (GPUs), field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), and standard microprocessors. Each of these platforms has unique strengths and weaknesses but, when used in concert, can rival the computational power of a high-performance computer (HPC). By adding a powerful GPU and our custom designed FPGA card to a commodity desktop PC, we have created simulation tools capable of replacing massive computer clusters with a single workstation. We present this work in its initial embodiment: simulators for electromagnetic wave propagation and interaction. We discuss the trade-offs of each independent technology, GPUs, FPGAs, and microprocessors, and how we efficiently partition algorithms to take advantage of the strengths of each while masking their weaknesses. We conclude by discussing enhancing the computational performance of the underlying desktop supercomputer and extending it to other application areas.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 May 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6227, Enabling Technologies for Simulation Science X, 62270N (22 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.668281
Show Author Affiliations
Eric J. Kelmelis, EM Photonics (United States)
John R. Humphrey, EM Photonics (United States)
James P. Durbano, EM Photonics (United States)
Fernando E. Ortiz, EM Photonics (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6227:
Enabling Technologies for Simulation Science X
Dawn A. Trevisani, Editor(s)

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