Generation of large finite-element matrices on multiple graphics processors

February 7th, 2013


The paper presents techniques for generating very large finite-element matrices on a multicore workstation equipped with several graphics processing units (GPUs). To overcome the low memory size limitation of the GPUs, and at the same time to accelerate the generation process, we propose to generate the large sparse linear systems arising in finite-element analysis in an iterative manner on several GPUs and to use the graphics accelerators concurrently with CPUs performing collection and addition of the matrix fragments using a fast multithreaded procedure. The scheduling of the threads is organized in such a way that the CPU operations do not affect the performance of the process, and the GPUs are idle only when data are being transferred from GPU to CPU. This approach is verified on two workstations: the first consists of two 6-core Intel Xeon X5690 processors with two Fermi GPUs: each GPU is a GeForce GTX 590 with two graphics processors and 1.5 GB of fast RAM; the second workstation is equipped with two Tesla C2075 boards carrying 6 GB of RAM each and two 12-core Opteron 6174s. For the latter setup, we demonstrate the fast generation of sparse finite-element matrices as large as 10 million unknowns, with over 1 billion nonzero entries. Comparing with the single-threaded and multithreaded CPU implementations, the GPU-based version of the algorithm based on the ideas presented in this paper reduces the finite-element matrix-generation time in double precision by factors of 100 and 30, respectively.

(Dziekonski, A., Sypek, P., Lamecki, A. and Mrozowski, M.: “Generation of large finite-element matrices on multiple graphics processors”. International Journal on Numerical Methoths in Engineering, 2012, in press. [DOI])

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