CUDA-OpenGL Interoperability to Visualize Electromagnetic Fields Calculated by FDTD

Veysel Demir, Atef Z. Elsherbeni
Department of Electrical Engineering, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA
Journal of the Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society (ACES), vol. 27, no. 2, 2012


   title={CUDA-OpenGL Interoperability to Visualize Electromagnetic Fields Calculated by FDTD},

   author={Demir, V. and Elsherbeni, A.Z.},






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In this contribution, a compute unified device architecture (CUDA) implementation of a two-dimensional finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) program is presented along with the OpenGL interoperability to visualize electromagnetic fields as an animation while an FDTD simulation is running. CUDA, which runs on a graphics processing unit (GPU) card, is used for electromagnetic field data generation and image manipulation, while OpenGL is used to draw field distribution on the screen. Since CUDA and OpenGL both run on GPU and share data through common memory in the framebuffer, the CUDA-OpenGL interoperability is very efficient in visualization of electromagnetic fields. Step by step details of implementation of this interoperability are demonstrated.
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