Generating Efficient Quantum Chemistry Codes for Novel Architectures

November 8th, 2012


We describe an extension of our graphics processing unit (GPU) electronic structure program TeraChem to include atom-centered Gaussian basis sets with d angular momentum functions. This was made possible by a “meta-programming” strategy that leverages computer algebra systems for the derivation of equations and their transformation to correct code. We generate a multitude of code fragments that are formally mathematically equivalent, but differ in their memory and floating-point operation footprints. We then select between different code fragments using empirical testing to find the highest performing code variant. This leads to an optimal balance of floating-point operations and memory bandwidth for a given target architecture without laborious manual tuning. We show that this approach is capable of similar performance compared to our hand-tuned GPU kernels for basis sets with s and p angular momenta. We also demonstrate that mixed precision schemes (using both single and double precision) remain stable and accurate for molecules with d functions. We provide benchmarks of the execution time of entire self-consistent field (SCF) calculations using our GPU code and compare to mature CPU based codes, showing the benefits of the GPU architecture for electronic structure theory with appropriately redesigned algorithms. We suggest that the meta-programming and empirical performance optimization approach may be important in future computational chemistry applications, especially in the face of quickly evolving computer architectures.

(Alexey V Titov , Ivan S. Ufimtsev , Nathan Luehr  and Todd J. Martínez: “Generating Efficient Quantum Chemistry Codes for Novel Architectures”, accepted for publication in the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, 2012. [DOI])

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