Using OpenACC to Port Solar Storm Modeling Code to GPUs
Jul. 16, 2018

"Solar storms consist of massive explosions on the Sun that can release the energy of over 2 billion megatons of TNT in the form of solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). CMEs eject billions of tons of magnetized plasma into space, and while most of them miss Earth entirely, there have been some in the past that would have inflicted great damage on our modern technological society had they hit us. In order to predict the consequences of such potentially disastrous impacts, we require greater understanding of CME initiation and propagation dynamics. Global magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations, driven by observational data are a key component toward this goal.

In this blog post, we describe the steps, stumbles, and ultimate success of implementing multi-GPU acceleration to our state-of-the-art MHD simulation code using OpenACC in a fully portable manner resulting in a single source-code base. We hope sharing our experience helps other developers decide if using OpenACC to accelerate their legacy code is right for them."