Journal Article

Real-time, fast radio transient searches with GPU de-dispersion

A. Magro, A. Karastergiou, S. Salvini, B. Mort, F. Dulwich and K. Zarb Adami

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 417, issue 4, pages 2642-2650
Published in print November 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online November 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Real-time, fast radio transient searches with GPU de-dispersion

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The identification and subsequent discovery of fast radio transients using blind-search surveys require a large amount of processing power, in worst cases scaling as . For this reason, survey data are generally processed off-line, using high-performance computing architectures or hardware-based designs. In recent years, graphics processing units (GPUs) have been extensively used for numerical analysis and scientific simulations, especially after the introduction of new high-level application programming interfaces. Here, we show how GPUs can be used for fast transient discovery in real time. We present a solution to the problem of de-dispersion, providing performance comparisons with a typical computing machine and traditional pulsar processing software. We describe the architecture of a real-time, GPU-based transient search machine. In terms of performance, our GPU solution provides a speed-up factor of between 50 and 200, depending on the parameters of the search.

Keywords: instrumentation: miscellaneous

Journal Article.  5783 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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