High Performance Computing with the Cell Broadband EngineView this Special Issue
3D Seismic Imaging through Reverse-Time Migration on Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Multi-Core Processors
Reverse-Time Migration (RTM) is a state-of-the-art technique in seismic acoustic imaging, because of the quality and integrity of the images it provides. Oil and gas companies trust RTM with crucial decisions on multi-million-dollar drilling investments. But RTM requires vastly more computational power than its predecessor techniques, and this has somewhat hindered its practical success. On the other hand, despite multi-core architectures promise to deliver unprecedented computational power, little attention has been devoted to mapping efficiently RTM to multi-cores. In this paper, we present a mapping of the RTM computational kernel to the IBM Cell/B.E. processor that reaches close-to-optimal performance. The kernel proves to be memory-bound and it achieves a 98% utilization of the peak memory bandwidth. Our Cell/B.E. implementation outperforms a traditional processor (PowerPC 970MP) in terms of performance (with an 15.0× speedup) and energy-efficiency (with a 10.0× increase in the GFlops/W delivered). Also, it is the fastest RTM implementation available to the best of our knowledge. These results increase the practical usability of RTM. Also, the RTM-Cell/B.E. combination proves to be a strong competitor in the seismic arena.