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I have a simulation project written for OpenFOAM and CFDEM and would like to find an alternative to run it on GPU since raising the number of cores already provided a promising speed up and extrapolation shows that GPU could be the way to go.

For OpenFOAM exists a project called "RapidCFD" which brings OpenFOAM computations to the GPU but it isn't compatible with CFDEM/LIGGGHTS and even porting it doesn't seem very promising referencing the answer of one of the developer (https://github.com/Atizar/RapidCFD-dev/issues/64).

My suspicion is that will not be easy or efficient to use the RapidCFD base code for a CFDEM solver.

  • LIGGGHTS is not GPU enabled, as far as I know.
  • The CFDEM libraries are not setup for GPU calculations.
  • RapidCFD is based on OpenFOAM 2.3.x, and presently CFDEM is based on OpenFOAM 5.x (maybe the current version of CFDEM still works with OF 2.3.x, or for sure you can use an earlier version of CFDEM, to get around this concern).

But the main idea of RapidCFD is to minimize data transfer between CPU memory and the GPU. Without porting the CFDEM libraries (or LIGGGHTS, too?) for GPU, I am not sure this will be as speedy as some of the other results people have discussed with RapidCFD, since data will need to be transferred between CPU and GPU (this is slow).

Finally, I don't think that all calculations lend themselves to speedup on the GPU, even if you were to port CFDEM libraries and/or LIGGGHTS to GPU. One would need to examine if the type of calculations done by CFDEM and/or LIGGGHTS are matrix type calculations that lend themselves to GPU speedup. If not, then after all the work is done, the speedup may not be so impressive.

Another project I found which could probably replace LIGGGHTS is EDEM (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6267572/) and due to the following publication (https://www.edemsimulation.com/news/new-cfd-coupling-interface-for-edem-enables-particle-fluid-simulation-with-any-cfd-software/) it should be possible to couple it with any CFD software.

As I have no experience in the area of CFD and DEM Particle simulations I would like to ask you if you know alternatives and possible expectations for a speed up using those tools. Does it make sense to switch to a commercial tool like EDEM and combine it with an GPU enabled CFD Solver.

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