An Efficient Work-Distribution Strategy for Gridding Radio-Telescope Data on GPUs

John W. Romein
Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON), Postbus 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
ACM International Conference on Supercomputer (ICS’12), 2012


   title={An Efficient Work-Distribution Strategy for Gridding Radio-Telescope Data on GPUs},

   author={Romein, J.W.},



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This paper presents a novel work-distribution strategy for GPUs, that efficiently convolves radio-telescope data onto a grid, one of the most time-consuming processing steps to create a sky image. Unlike existing work-distribution strategies, this strategy keeps the number of device-memory accesses low, without incurring the overhead from sorting or searching within telescope data. Performance measurements show that the strategy is an order of magnitude faster than existing accelerator-based gridders. We compare CUDA and OpenCL performance for multiple platforms. Also, we report very good multi-GPU scaling properties on a system with eight GPUs, and show that our prototype implementation is highly energy efficient. Finally, we describe how a unique property of GPUs, fast texture interpolation, can be used as a potential way to improve image quality.
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