Parallel Prefix Sum (Scan) with CUDA

Mark Harris, Shubhabrata Sengupta, John D. Owens
In GPU Gems 3 (12 August 2007)


   title={Parallel prefix sum (scan) with CUDA},

   author={Harris, M. and Sengupta, S. and Owens, J.D.},

   journal={GPU Gems},







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Parallel prefix sum, also known as parallel Scan, is a useful building block for many parallel algorithms including sorting and building data structures. In this document we introduce Scan and describe step-by-step how it can be implemented efficiently in NVIDIA CUDA. We start with a basic naive algorithm and proceed through more advanced techniques to obtain best performance. We then explain how to scan arrays of arbitrary size that cannot be processed with a single block of threads.
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