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Scientific Programming
Volume 17 (2009), Issue 1-2, Pages 135-151

Implementation of Scientific Computing Applications on the Cell Broadband Engine

Guochun Shi,1 Volodymyr V. Kindratenko,1 Ivan S. Ufimtsev,2 Todd J. Martinez,2 James C. Phillips,3 and Steven A. Gottlieb4

1National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA
2Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA
3Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group, Beckman Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA
4Department of Physics, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA

Copyright © 2009 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


The Cell Broadband Engine architecture is a revolutionary processor architecture well suited for many scientific codes. This paper reports on an effort to implement several traditional high-performance scientific computing applications on the Cell Broadband Engine processor, including molecular dynamics, quantum chromodynamics and quantum chemistry codes. The paper discusses data and code restructuring strategies necessary to adapt the applications to the intrinsic properties of the Cell processor and demonstrates performance improvements achieved on the Cell architecture. It concludes with the lessons learned and provides practical recommendations on optimization techniques that are believed to be most appropriate.