High-cost CFD on a low-cost cluster

Thomas Hauser, Timothy I. Mattox, Raymond P. LeBeau, Henry G. Dietz, P. George Huang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Direct numerical simulation of the Navier-Stokes equations (DNS) is an important technique for the future of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in engineering applications. However, DNS requires massive computing resources. This paper presents a new approach for implementing high-cost DNS CFD using low-cost cluster hardware. After describing the DNS CFD code DNSTool, the paper focuses on the techniques and tools that we have developed to customize the performance of a cluster implementation of this application. This tuning of system performance involves both recoding of the application and careful engineering of the cluster design. Using the cluster KLAT2 (Kentucky Linux Athlon Testbed 2), while DNSTool cannot match the $0.64 per MFLOPS that KLAT2 achieves on single precision ScaLAPACK, it is very efficient; DNSTool on KLAT2 achieves price/performance of $2.75 per MFLOPS double precision and $1.86 single precision. Further, the code and tools are all, or will soon be, made freely available as full source code.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSC 2000 - Proceedings of the 2000 ACM/IEEE Conference on Supercomputing
ISBN (Electronic)0780398025
StatePublished - 2000
Event2000 ACM/IEEE Conference on Supercomputing, SC 2000 - Dallas, United States
Duration: Nov 4 2000Nov 10 2000

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Supercomputing


Conference2000 ACM/IEEE Conference on Supercomputing, SC 2000
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Thomas Hauser is supported by NASA grant NAG3-2099, sponsored by the NASA-Glenn Research Center and the Center for Computational Science at the University of Kentucky. Ray LeBeau is supported by Kentucky NASA-EPSCoR. George Huang is supported by NASA grant NAG3-2099, sponsored by the NASA-Glenn Research Center. The initial work on DNSTool was supported by SFB 255 at the University of Technology Munich under Rainer Friedrich. Special thanks to AMD for their generous contributions of the Athlon processors for KLAT2 and to the many students who got their first taste of cluster supercomputing amongst the rubble of discarded packing material from which KLAT2 rose on April 11, 2000.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2000 IEEE.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (all)


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