Particle-in-cell Simulations with Charge-Conserving Current Deposition on Graphic Processing Units

Xianglong Kong, Michael C. Huang, Chuang Ren, Viktor K. Decyk
University of Rochester
Journal of Computational Physics (26 November 2010)


   title={Particle-in-cell Simulations with Charge-Conserving Current Deposition on Graphic Processing Units},

   author={Kong, X. and Huang, M. and Ren, C. and Decyk, V.},

   journal={Bulletin of the American Physical Society},



   publisher={American Physical Society}


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We present an implementation of a 2D fully relativistic, electromagnetic Particle-in-Cell code, with charge-conserving current deposition, on parallel graphics processors (GPU) with CUDA. The GPU implementation achieved a one particle-step process time of 2.52 ns for cold plasma runs and 9.15 ns for extremely relativistic plasma runs, which are respectively 81 and 27 times faster than a single threaded state-of-art CPU code. A particle-based computation thread assignment was used in the current deposition scheme and write conflicts among the threads were resolved by a thread racing technique. A parallel particle sorting scheme was also developed and used. The implementation took advantage of fast on-chip shared memory, and can in principle be extended to 3D.
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