Accelerating Dust Temperature Calculations with Graphics Processing Units

Patrik Jonsson, Joel Primack
Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
New Astronomy, Vol. 15, Issue 6, August 2010, Pages 509-514, arXiv:0907.3768v2 [astro-ph.IM] (22 Jul 2009)


   title={Accelerating dust temperature calculations with graphics-processing units},

   author={Jonsson, P. and Primack, J.R.},

   journal={New Astronomy},








When calculating the infrared spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of galaxies in radiation-transfer models, the calculation of dust grain temperatures is generally the most time-consuming part of the calculation. Because of its highly parallel nature, this calculation is perfectly suited for massively parallel general-purpose Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). This paper presents an implementation of the calculation of dust grain equilibrium temperatures on GPUs in the Monte-Carlo radiation transfer code Sunrise, using the CUDA API. The GPU can perform this calculation 55 times faster than the 8 CPU cores, showing great potential for accelerating calculations of galaxy SEDs.
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