Performance evaluation of a two-dimensional lattice Boltzmann solver using CUDA and PGAS UPC based parallelisation

Máté Szoke, Tamásistván Józsa, Ádám Koleszár, Irene Moulitsas, László Könözsy

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The Unified Parallel C (UPC) language from the Partitioned Global Address Space (PGAS) family unifies the advantages of shared and local memory spaces and offers a relatively straightforward code parallelisation with the Central Processing Unit (CPU). In contrast, the Computer Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) development kit gives a tool to make use of the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). We provide a detailed comparison between these novel techniques through the parallelisation of a two-dimensional lattice Boltzmann method based fluid flow solver. Our comparison between the CUDA and UPC parallelisation takes into account the required conceptual effort, the performance gain, and the limitations of the approaches from the application oriented developers' point of view. We demonstrated that UPC led to competitive efficiency with the local memory implementation. However, the performance of the shared memory code fell behind our expectations, and we concluded that the investigated UPC compilers could not efficiently treat the shared memory space. The CUDA implementation proved to be more complex compared to the UPC approach mainly because of the complicated memory structure of the graphics card which also makes GPUs suitable for the parallelisation of the lattice Boltzmann method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
JournalACM Transactions on Mathematical Software
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • CFD
  • CUDA
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Compute unified device architecture
  • LBM
  • Lattice Boltzmann method
  • PGAS
  • Partitioned global address space
  • UPC
  • Unified parallel C

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