A Performance Study of the 2D Ising Model on GPUs

Joshua Romero, Mauro Bisson, Massimiliano Fatica, Massimo Bernaschi

The simulation of the two-dimensional Ising model is used as a benchmark to show the computational capabilities of Graphic Processing Units (GPUs). The rich programming environment now available on GPUs and flexible hardware capabilities allowed us to quickly experiment with several implementation ideas: a simple stencil-based algorithm, recasting the stencil operations into matrix multiplies to take advantage of Tensor Cores available on NVIDIA GPUs, and a highly optimized multi-spin coding approach. Using the managed memory API available in CUDA allows for simple and efficient distribution of these implementations across a multi-GPU NVIDIA DGX-2 server. We show that even a basic GPU implementation can outperform current results published on TPUs and that the optimized multi-GPU implementation can simulate very large lattices faster than custom FPGA solutions.

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