The European Physical Journal Special Topics

, Volume 210, Issue 1, pp 17–31 | Cite as

An introduction to multi-GPU programming for physicists

  • M. BernaschiEmail author
  • M. Bisson
  • M. Fatica
  • E. Phillips


We present and compare different approaches for using multiple Graphics Processing Units in the simulation of physical systems. As benchmarks we consider the time required to update a single spin of the 3D Heisenberg spin glass model, by using both the Over-relaxation and the Heat Bath algorithms, and the solution of a Poisson equation by using a finite-difference method. The results show that a suitable combination of techniques allows to hide almost completely the communication overhead by using the CPU as a communication coprocessor of the GPU. Large scale simulations on clusters of GPUs can be efficiently carried out by following the same approach for other applications where a clear cut exists between bulk and boundaries data.


Graphic Processing Unit European Physical Journal Special Topic Single Precision Graphic Processing Unit Memory Multiple GPUs 
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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences and Springer 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Bernaschi
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Bisson
    • 1
  • M. Fatica
    • 2
  • E. Phillips
    • 2
  1. 1.Istituto per le Applicazioni del CalcoloNational Research Council of ItalyRomeItaly
  2. 2.NVIDIA CorporationSanta ClaraUSA

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