An Exploration of OpenCL on Multiple Hardware Platforms for a Numerical Relativity Application

Niket K. Choudhary, Sandeep Navada, Rakesh Ginjupalli, and Gaurav Khanna

Keywords

GPU, OpenCL, Relativity, Astrophysics, manycore, multicore

Abstract

Currently there is considerable interest in making use of many-core processor architectures, such as Nvidia and AMD graphics processing units (GPUs) for scientific computing. In this work we explore the use of the Open Computing Language (OpenCL) for a typical Numerical Relativity application: a time-domain Teukolsky equation solver (a linear, hyperbolic, partial differential equation solver using finite-differencing). OpenCL is the only vendor-agnostic and multi-platform parallel computing framework that has been adopted by all major processor vendors. Therefore, it allows us to write portable source-code and run it on a wide variety of compute hardware and perform meaningful comparisons. The outcome of our experimentation suggests that it is relatively straightforward to obtain order-of-magnitude gains in overall application performance by making use of many-core GPUs over multi-core CPUs and this fact is largely independent of the specific hardware architecture and vendor. We also observe that a single high-end GPU can match the performance of a small-sized, message-passing based CPU cluster.

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