Performance Aspects of Collocated and Staggered Grids for Particle-in-Cell Plasma Simulation

  • Sergey Bastrakov
  • Igor Surmin
  • Evgeny Efimenko
  • Arkady Gonoskov
  • Iosif MeyerovEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10421)


We present a computational comparison of collocated and staggered uniform grids for particle-in-cell plasma simulation. Both types of grids are widely used, and numerical properties of the corresponding solvers are well-studied. However, for large-scale simulations performance is also an important factor, which is the focus of this paper. We start with a baseline implementation, apply widely-used techniques for performance optimization and measure their efficacy for both grids on a high-end Xeon CPU and a second-generation Xeon Phi processor. For the optimized version the collocated grid outperforms the staggered one by about 1.5 x on both Xeon and Xeon Phi. The speedup on the Xeon Phi processor compared to Xeon is about 1.9 x.


Performance optimization Xeon Phi SIMD Plasma simulation Particle-in-cell 



The authors (E.E., A.G.) acknowledge the support from the Russian Science Foundation project No. 16-12-10486. The authors are grateful to Intel Corporation for access to the system used for performing computational experiments presented in this paper. We are also grateful to A. Bobyr, S. Egorov, I. Lopatin, and Z. Matveev from Intel Corporation for technical consultations.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergey Bastrakov
    • 1
  • Igor Surmin
    • 1
  • Evgeny Efimenko
    • 1
    • 2
  • Arkady Gonoskov
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Iosif Meyerov
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni NovgorodNizhni NovgorodRussia
  2. 2.Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of SciencesNizhni NovgorodRussia
  3. 3.Chalmers University of TechnologyGothenburgSweden

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