Acceleration of FDTD mode solver by high-performance computing techniques

Lin Han, Yanping Xi, Wei-Ping Huang
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1, Canada
Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue 13, pp. 13679-13692 (2010)


   title={Acceleration of FDTD mode solver by high-performance computing techniques},

   author={Han, L. and Xi, Y. and Huang, W.P.},

   journal={Optics Express},






   publisher={Optical Society of America}


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A two-dimensional (2D) compact finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) mode solver is developed based on wave equation formalism in combination with the matrix pencil method (MPM). The method is validated for calculation of both real guided and complex leaky modes of typical optical waveguides against the bench-mark finite-difference (FD) eigen mode solver. By taking advantage of the inherent parallel nature of the FDTD algorithm, the mode solver is implemented on graphics processing units (GPUs) using the compute unified device architecture (CUDA). It is demonstrated that the high-performance computing technique leads to significant acceleration of the FDTD mode solver with more than 30 times improvement in computational efficiency in comparison with the conventional FDTD mode solver running on CPU of a standard desktop computer. The computational efficiency of the accelerated FDTD method is in the same order of magnitude of the standard finite-difference eigen mode solver and yet require much less memory (e.g., less than 10%). Therefore, the new method may serve as an efficient, accurate and robust tool for mode calculation of optical waveguides even when the conventional eigen value mode solvers are no longer applicable due to memory limitation.
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