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International Journal of Reconfigurable Computing
Volume 2017, Article ID 6817674, 11 pages
Research Article

OpenCL-Based FPGA Accelerator for 3D FDTD with Periodic and Absorbing Boundary Conditions

1Graduate School of Information Sciences, Tohoku University, Aoba 6-3-09, Aramaki-Aza-Aoba, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8579, Japan
2Graduate School of Information Sciences, Tohoku University, Aoba 6-3-05, Aramaki-Aza-Aoba, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8579, Japan

Correspondence should be addressed to Hasitha Muthumala Waidyasooriya;

Received 22 December 2016; Revised 3 March 2017; Accepted 30 March 2017; Published 16 April 2017

Academic Editor: João Cardoso

Copyright © 2017 Hasitha Muthumala Waidyasooriya et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Finite difference time domain (FDTD) method is a very poplar way of numerically solving partial differential equations. FDTD has a low operational intensity so that the performances in CPUs and GPUs are often restricted by the memory bandwidth. Recently, deeply pipelined FPGA accelerators have shown a lot of success by exploiting streaming data flows in FDTD computation. In spite of this success, many FPGA accelerators are not suitable for real-world applications that contain complex boundary conditions. Boundary conditions break the regularity of the data flow, so that the performances are significantly reduced. This paper proposes an FPGA accelerator that computes commonly used absorbing and periodic boundary conditions in many 3D FDTD applications. Accelerator is designed using a “C-like” programming language called OpenCL (open computing language). As a result, the proposed accelerator can be customized easily by changing the software code. According to the experimental results, we achieved over 3.3 times and 1.5 times higher processing speed compared to the CPUs and GPUs, respectively. Moreover, the proposed accelerator is more than 14 times faster compared to the recently proposed FPGA accelerators that are capable of handling complex boundary conditions.