Implementation of 2D Domain Decomposition in the UCAN Gyrokinetic Particle-in-Cell Code and Resulting Performance of UCAN2 Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2016

start page

  • 205

end page

  • 225


  • 1


  • 19

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1815-2406

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1991-7120


  • The massively parallel, nonlinear, three-dimensional (3D), toroidal, electrostatic, gyrokinetic, particle-in-cell (PIC), Cartesian geometry UCAN code, with particle ions and adiabatic electrons, has been successfully exercised to identify non-diffusive transport characteristics in present day tokamak discharges. The limitation in applying UCAN to larger scale discharges is the 1D domain decomposition in the toroidal (or z-) direction for massively parallel implementation using MPI which has restricted the calculations to a few hundred ion Larmor radii or gyroradii per plasma minor radius. To exceed these sizes, we have implemented 2D domain decomposition in UCAN with the addition of the y-direction to the processor mix. This has been facilitated by use of relevant components in the P2LIB library of field and particle management routines developed for UCLA's UPIC Framework of conventional PIC codes. The gyro-averaging specific to gyrokinetic codes is simplified by the use of replicated arrays for efficient charge accumulation and force deposition. The 2D domain-decomposed UCAN2 code reproduces the original 1D domain nonlinear results within round-off. Benchmarks of UCAN2 on the Cray XC30 Edison at NERSC demonstrate ideal scaling when problem size is increased along with processor number up to the largest power of 2 available, namely 131,072 processors. These particle weak scaling benchmarks also indicate that the 1 nanosecond per particle per time step and 1 TFlops barriers are easily broken by UCAN2 with 1 billion particles or more and 2000 or more processors.


  • Physics


  • gyrokinetic simulation; particle-in-cell method; massive parallelization; gradient-driven turbulence; simulation-model; pic code; transport; plasmas; framework; flows