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A Comparative Study on ASIC, FPGAs, GPUs and General Purpose Processors in the O(N^2) Gravitational N-body Simulation

Tsuyoshi Hamada, Khaled Benkrid, Keigo Nitadori, Makoto Taiji
Nagasaki Advanced Computing Center, Nagasaki University, 1-14, Bunkyo-machi, Nagasaki, 852-8521 Japan
NASA/ESA Conference on Adaptive Hardware and Systems, 2009. AHS 2009

@conference{hamada2009comparative,

   title={A Comparative Study on ASIC, FPGAs, GPUs and General Purpose Processors in the O (N^{} 2) Gravitational N-body Simulation},

   author={Hamada, T. and Benkrid, K. and Nitadori, K. and Taiji, M.},

   booktitle={2009 NASA/ESA Conference on Adaptive Hardware and Systems},

   pages={447–452},

   year={2009},

   organization={IEEE}

}

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In this paper, we describe the implementation of gravitational force calculation for N-body simulations in the context of astrophysics. It will describe high performance implementations on general purpose processors, GPUs, and FPGAs, and compare them using a number of criteria including speed performance, power efficiency and cost of development. These results show that, for gravitational force calculation and many-body simulations in general, GPUs are very competitive in terms of performance and performance per dollar figures, whereas FPGAs are competitive in terms of performance per Watt figures.
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