CUDA and COMSOL

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Stefano Firpi

Stefano Firpi

September 11, 2013 9:30am UTC

CUDA and COMSOL

Dear all, I have a new NVIDIA Quadro GPU and I would like to use it to accelerate my simulations, is it possible to use it somehow?
I looked for some informations and it seems to me that CUDA it's still unsupported, does someone have any fresh news?

I think this would be a very nice feature to be implemented in the future since nearly all the competitors (ansys, abaqus, nastran etc...) can benefit of GPU acceleration

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Martin Trebbin

Martin Trebbin

November 27, 2013 11:29am UTC in response to Stefano Firpi

Re: CUDA and COMSOL

+1!!!!!!!

yes, please integrate GPU solving. These days it's much easier to setup personal clusters and todays's GPU performance is astounding!

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Stefano Firpi

Stefano Firpi

November 27, 2013 11:54am UTC in response to Martin Trebbin

Re: CUDA and COMSOL

I've talked extensively about this with the support.
Making a long story short, the problem with GPU performances is that they are NOT stable, so changing the physics, boudary conditions, geometry or whatever can give completely different results.
As far as I understood ( but I'm not affiliated with comsol in any way so this can be wrong) COMSOL decided not to support GPU processing because of those issues.

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Niklas Rom

Niklas Rom
COMSOL Employee

Moderator

December 3, 2013 2:33pm UTC in response to Stefano Firpi

Re: CUDA and COMSOL

Hi, just some clarifications about this interesting subject:

It is not COMSOL's opinion that GPUs are unstable or
unreliable.

We are following the GPU hardware development closely and when we find that
GPUs become useful to solve problems in COMSOL, we will support them.

Currently we see a number of factors that limit the
usefulness of GPUs for solving COMSOL problems. The main solvers in COMSOL
are the direct solvers and the multigrid solvers.

The direct solvers are very useful to handle strongly coupled smaller size
multiphysics problems, but they also require a lot of memory. Currently,
dedicated general purpose GPUs have about 5-16 GB of internal memory. This
corresponds to small problem sizes for the direct solvers, in the range
where they do not yield a high scalablity on GPUs.

For larger size problems, where multigrid is most efficient, the current
memory available in GPUs is not sufficient. In addition, multigrid solvers
use direct solvers on the coarsest grid, which also means that the
scalability of the coarse grid problem is limited on GPUs.

kind regards
Niklas Rom


I've talked extensively about this with the support.
Making a long story short, the problem with GPU performances is that they are NOT stable, so changing the physics, boudary conditions, geometry or whatever can give completely different results.
As far as I understood ( but I'm not affiliated with comsol in any way so this can be wrong) COMSOL decided not to support GPU processing because of those issues.


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John H.

John H.

December 4, 2013 10:15am UTC in response to Niklas Rom

Re: CUDA and COMSOL

Thank you, Niklas, for these very informative remarks. I've been asking myself this very question for quite some time (and even tried to run Comsol with the CudaBLAS libraries at some point).

Where I thought GPU support would be the most useful is the Particle Tracing module. Especially if there are no particle–particle interactions, this should be a highly parallelizeable problem. Then again, the specialized (competitor) software that we predominantly use for these kinds of simulations also doesn't support GPUs, so I guess I'm missing something.

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