Accelerating moderately stiff chemical kinetics in reactive-flow simulations using GPUs

Niemeyer KE, Sung CJ. Journal of Computational Physics 256 :854–871 (2014).


The chemical kinetics ODEs arising from operator-split reactive-flow simulations were solved on GPUs using explicit integration algorithms. Nonstiff chemical kinetics of a hydrogen oxidation mechanism (9 species and 38 irreversible reactions) were computed using the explicit fifth-order Runge–Kutta–Cash–Karp method, and the GPU-accelerated version performed faster than single- and six-core CPU versions by factors of 126 and 25, respectively, for 524,288 ODEs. Moderately stiff kinetics, represented with mechanisms for hydrogen/carbon-monoxide (13 species and 54 irreversible reactions) and methane (53 species and 634 irreversible reactions) oxidation, were computed using the stabilized explicit second-order Runge–Kutta–Chebyshev (RKC) algorithm. The GPU-based RKC implementation demonstrated an increase in performance of nearly 59 and 10 times, for problem sizes consisting of 262,144 ODEs and larger, than the single- and six-core CPU-based RKC algorithms using the hydrogen/carbon-monoxide mechanism. With the methane mechanism, RKC-GPU performed more than 65 and 11 times faster, for problem sizes consisting of 131,072 ODEs and larger, than the single- and six-core RKC-CPU versions, and up to 57 times faster than the six-core CPU-based implicit VODE algorithm on 65,536 ODEs. In the presence of more severe stiffness, such as ethylene oxidation (111 species and 1566 irreversible reactions), RKC-GPU performed more than 17 times faster than RKC-CPU on six cores for 32,768 ODEs and larger, and at best 4.5 times faster than VODE on six CPU cores for 65,536 ODEs. With a larger time step size, RKC-GPU performed at best 2.5 times slower than six-core VODE for 8192 ODEs and larger. Therefore, the need for developing new strategies for integrating stiff chemistry on GPUs was discussed.


  Author = {Kyle E Niemeyer and Chih-Jen Sung},
  Title = {Accelerating moderately stiff chemical kinetics in reactive-flow simulations using GPUs},
  Journal = {J. Comput. Phys.},
  Pages = {854--871},
  Volume = {256},
  Year = 2014