Research Summary: GPUs, a New Tool of Acceleration in CFD: Efficiency and Reliability on Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics Methods


Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) is a numerical method commonly used in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to simulate complex free-surface flows. Simulations with this mesh-free particle method far exceed the capacity of a single processor. In this paper, as part of a dual-functioning code for either central processing units (CPUs) or Graphics Processor Units (GPUs), a parallelisation using GPUs is presented. The GPU parallelisation technique uses the Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) of nVidia devices. Simulations with more than one million particles on a single GPU card exhibit speedups of up to two orders of magnitude over using a single-core CPU. It is demonstrated that the code achieves different speedups with different CUDA-enabled GPUs. The numerical behaviour of the SPH code is validated with a standard benchmark test case of dam break flow impacting on an obstacle where good agreement with the experimental results is observed. Both the achieved speed-ups and the quantitative agreement with experiments suggest that CUDA-based GPU programming can be used in SPH methods with efficiency and reliability.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 13-June-2011

Author(s): Crespo A., Dominguez J., Barreiro A., Gómez-Gesteira M., Rogers B.


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