, Volume 7, Issue 8, pp 306-317

GROMACS 3.0: a package for molecular simulation and trajectory analysis

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GROMACS 3.0 is the latest release of a versatile and very well optimized package for molecular simulation. Much effort has been devoted to achieving extremely high performance on both workstations and parallel computers. The design includes an extraction of virial and periodic boundary conditions from the loops over pairwise interactions, and special software routines to enable rapid calculation of x –1/2. Inner loops are generated automatically in C or Fortran at compile time, with optimizations adapted to each architecture. Assembly loops using SSE and 3DNow! Multimedia instructions are provided for x86 processors, resulting in exceptional performance on inexpensive PC workstations. The interface is simple and easy to use (no scripting language), based on standard command line arguments with self-explanatory functionality and integrated documentation. All binary files are independent of hardware endian and can be read by versions of GROMACS compiled using different floating-point precision. A large collection of flexible tools for trajectory analysis is included, with output in the form of finished Xmgr/Grace graphs. A basic trajectory viewer is included, and several external visualization tools can read the GROMACS trajectory format. Starting with version 3.0, GROMACS is available under the GNU General Public License from http://www.gromacs.org.