Vol. 138

Front:[PDF file] Back:[PDF file]
Latest Volume
All Volumes
All Issues

B -Calm: an Open-Source Multi-GPU-Based 3D-FDTD with Multi-Pole Dispersion for Plasmonics

By Pierre Wahl, Dany Sebastien Ly Gagnon, Christof Debaes, Jurgen Van Erps, Nathalie Vermeulen, David A. B. Miller, and Hugo Thienpont
Progress In Electromagnetics Research, Vol. 138, 467-478, 2013


Numerical calculations based on finite-difference timedomain (FDTD) simulations for metallic nanostructures in a broad optical spectrum require an accurate modeling of the permittivity of dispersive materials. In this paper, we present the algorithms behind BCALM (Belgium-CAlifornia Light Machine), an open-source 3D-FDTD solver simultaneously operating on multiple Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) and efficiently utilizing multi-pole dispersion models while hiding latency in inter-GPU memory transfers. Our architecture shows a reduction in computing times for multi-pole dispersion models and an almost linear speed-up with respect to the amount of used GPUs. We benchmark B-CALM by computing the absorption efficiency of a metallic nanosphere in a broad spectral range with a six-pole Lorentz model and compare it with Mie theory and with a widely used Central Processing Unit (CPU)-based FDTD simulator.


Pierre Wahl, Dany Sebastien Ly Gagnon, Christof Debaes, Jurgen Van Erps, Nathalie Vermeulen, David A. B. Miller, and Hugo Thienpont, "B -Calm: an Open-Source Multi-GPU-Based 3D-FDTD with Multi-Pole Dispersion for Plasmonics," Progress In Electromagnetics Research, Vol. 138, 467-478, 2013.


    1. Taflove, , A., et al., Computational Electrodynamics: The Finite-difference Time-domain Method, ,, Artech House, , Norwood, MA, 1995.

    2. Junkin, , G., , "Conformal FDTD modeling of imperfect conductors at millimeter wave bands ," IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Vol. 59, No. 1, 199-205, 2011.

    3. Gondarenko, , A., M. Lipson, and , "Low modal volume dipole-like dielectric slab resonator," Opt. Express,, Vol. 16, No. 22, 17689-17694, 2008.

    4. Jensen, J. S. , J. S. , O. Sigmund, and , "Topology optimization of photonic crystal structures: A high-bandwidth low-loss T-junction waveguide," JOSA B, Vol. 22, No. 6, 1191-1198, 2005.

    5. Hansen, , P., , Y. Zheng, E. Perederey, and L. Hesselink, "Nanophotonic device optimization with adjoint FDTD," CLEO: Applications and Technology, Optical Society of America, 2011.

    6. Nagaoka, , T. and S. Watanabe, "Multi-GPU accelerated three-dimensional FDTD method for electromagnetic simulation," Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC, 401-404, 2011.

    7. Stefanski, , T. P., , N. Chavannes, and N. Kuster, "Multi-GPU accelerated finite-difference time-domain solver in open computing language," PIERS Online, Vol. 7, No. 1, 71-74, 2011.

    8. Palik, , E. D. , G. Ghosh, and , Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids, Academic Press, 1998.

    9. Wahl, P., , D. S. Ly-Gagnon, C. Debaes, D. A. B. Miller, and H. Thienpont, "B-calm: An open-source GPU-based 3D-FDTD with multi-pole dispersion for plasmonics, ," 11th International Conference on Numerical Simulation B-CALM: An Open-Source multi-GPU-based 3D-FDTD with Multi-Pole Dispersion , 11-12, 2011.

    10. Shahmansouri, A., B. Rashidian, and , "GPU implementation of split-field finite-difference time-domain method for drude-lorentz dispersive media," Progress In Electromagnetics Research,, Vol. 125, 55-77, 2012.

    11. Lee, , K. H., I. Ahmed, R. S. Goh, E. H. Khoo, E. P. Li, and T. G. Hung, "Implementation of the FDTD method based on lorentz-drude dispersive model on GPU for plasmonics applications," Progress In Electromagnetics Research, 441-456, 2011.

    2. Micikevicius, P., "3D definite difference computation on GPUs using CUDA," Proceedings of 2nd Workshop on General Purpose Processing on Graphics Processing Units, ACM, , 79-84, 2009.

    13. Playne, , D. P. , K. A. Hawick, and , "Comparison of GPU archi-tectures for asynchronous communication with finite-differencing applications," Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience, 2012.

    14. Oskooi, , A. F., , D. Roundy, M. Ibanescu, P. Bermel, and S. G. Johnson, "Meep: A flexible free-software package for electromagnetic simulations by the FDTD method," Computer Physics Communications, Vol. 181, No. 3, 687-702, 2010.

    15. Rakic, , A. D., , A. B. Djuri·sic, J. M. Elazar, and M. L. Majewski, "Optical properties of metallic films for vertical-cavity optoelec-tronic devices," Applied Optics,, Vol. 37, No. 22, 5271-5283, 1998.

    16. Nvidia, , "Nvidia cuda programming guide," NVIDIA, , 2011.

    17. Zunoubi, , M. R. , J. Payne, and , "Analysis of 3-dimensional electromagnetic fields in dispersive media using cuda," Progress In Electromagnetics Research, Vol. 16, 185-196, 2010.

    18. Ishimaru, A., , Wave Propagation and Scattering in Random Media,, Wiley-IEEE Press, 1999.