B-Calm: an Open-Source Multi-Gpu-Based 3D-FDTD with Multi-Pole Dispersion for Plasmonics

Pierre Wahl, Dany-Sebastien Ly-Gagnon, Christof Debaes, Jurgen Van Erps, Nathalie Vermeulen, David A. B. Miller, Hugo Thienpont
Brussels Photonics Team B-PHOT, Department of Applied Physics and Photonics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
Progress In Electromagnetics Research, Vol. 138, 467-478, 2013


   title={B-Calm: an Open-Source Multi-Gpu-Based 3D-FDTD with Multi-Pole Dispersion for Plasmonics},

   author={Wahl, Pierre and Ly Gagnon, Dany Sebastien and Debaes, Christof and Van Erps, Jurgen and Vermeulen, Nathalie and Miller, David AB and Thienpont, Hugo},

   journal={Progress In Electromagnetics Research},




   publisher={EMW Publishing}


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Numerical calculations based on finite-difference timedomain (FDTD) simulations for metallic nanostructures in a broad optical spectrum require an accurate modeling of the permittivity of dispersive materials. In this paper, we present the algorithms behind BCALM (Belgium-CAlifornia Light Machine), an open-source 3D-FDTD solver simultaneously operating on multiple Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) and efficiently utilizing multi-pole dispersion models while hiding latency in inter-GPU memory transfers. Our architecture shows a reduction in computing times for multi-pole dispersion models and an almost linear speed-up with respect to the amount of used GPUs. We benchmark B-CALM by computing the absorption efficiency of a metallic nanosphere in a broad spectral range with a six-pole Lorentz model and compare it with Mie theory and with a widely used Central Processing Unit (CPU)-based FDTD simulator.
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