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Proceedings Paper

Modeling and simulation of nanoscale devices with a desktop supercomputer
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Paper Abstract

Designing nanoscale devices presents a number of unique challenges. As device features shrink, the computational demands of the simulations necessary to accurately model them increase significantly. This is a result of not only the increasing level of detail in the device design itself, but also the need to use more accurate models. The approximations that are generally made when dealing with larger devices break down as feature sizes decrease. This can be seen in the optics field when contrasting the complexity of physical optics models with those requiring a rigorous solution to Maxwell's equations. This added complexity leads to more demanding calculations, stressing computational resources and driving research to overcome these limitations. There are traditionally two means of improving simulation times as model complexity grows beyond available computational resources: modifying the underlying algorithms to maintain sufficient precision while reducing overall computations and increasing the power of the computational system. In this paper, we explore the latter. Recent advances in commodity hardware technologies, particularly field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and graphics processing units (GPUs), have allowed the creation of desktop-style devices capable of outperforming PC clusters. We will describe the key hardware technologies required to build such a device and then discuss their application to the modeling and simulation of nanophotonic devices. We have found that FPGAs and GPUs can be used to significantly reduce simulation times and allow for the solution of much large problems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 September 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6328, Nanomodeling II, 632804 (8 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.681085
Show Author Affiliations
Eric J. Kelmelis, EM Photonics (United States)
James P. Durbano, EM Photonics (United States)
John R. Humphrey, EM Photonics (United States)
Fernando E. Ortiz, EM Photonics (United States)
Petersen F. Curt, EM Photonics (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6328:
Nanomodeling II
Akhlesh Lakhtakia; Sergey A. Maksimenko, Editor(s)

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