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Scalable multi-GPU implementation of the MAGFLOW simulator

Eugenio Rustico, Giuseppe Bilotta, Alexis Herault, Ciro Del Negro, Giovanni Gallo
Universita di Catania, Dipartimento di Matematica e Informatica, Catania, Italy
Annals of Geophysics, Vol 54, No 5, 2011

@article{rustico2011scalable,

   title={Scalable multi-GPU implementation of the MAGFLOW simulator},

   author={Rustico, E. and Bilotta, G. and H{‘e}rault, A. and Del Negro, C. and Gallo, G.},

   journal={Annals of Geophysics},

   volume={54},

   number={5},

   year={2011}

}

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We have developed a robust and scalable multi-GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) version of the cellular-automaton-based MAGFLOW lava simulator. The cellular automaton is partitioned into strips that are assigned to different GPUs, with minimal overlapping. For each GPU, a host thread is launched to manage allocation, deallocation, data transfer and kernel launches; the main host thread coordinates all of the GPUs, to ensure temporal coherence and data integrity. The overlapping borders and maximum temporal step need to be exchanged among the GPUs at the beginning of every evolution of the cellular automaton; data transfers are asynchronous with respect to the computations, to cover the introduced overhead. It is not required to have GPUs of the same speed or capacity; the system runs flawlessly on homogeneous and heterogeneous hardware. The speed-up factor differs from that which is ideal (#GPUs x) only for a constant overhead loss of about 4E-2 T #GPUs, with T as the total simulation time.
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