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[ascl:1010.048] OCTGRAV: Sparse Octree Gravitational N-body Code on Graphics Processing Units

Octgrav is a new very fast tree-code which runs on massively parallel Graphical Processing Units (GPU) with NVIDIA CUDA architecture. The algorithms are based on parallel-scan and sort methods. The tree-construction and calculation of multipole moments is carried out on the host CPU, while the force calculation which consists of tree walks and evaluation of interaction list is carried out on the GPU. In this way, a sustained performance of about 100GFLOP/s and data transfer rates of about 50GB/s is achieved. It takes about a second to compute forces on a million particles with an opening angle of $ heta approx 0.5$.

To test the performance and feasibility, we implemented the algorithms in CUDA in the form of a gravitational tree-code which completely runs on the GPU. The tree construction and traverse algorithms are portable to many-core devices which have support for CUDA or OpenCL programming languages. The gravitational tree-code outperforms tuned CPU code during the tree-construction and shows a performance improvement of more than a factor 20 overall, resulting in a processing rate of more than 2.8 million particles per second.

The code has a convenient user interface and is freely available for use.

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