Date of Award


Document type


Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

J. Blair Perot

Second Advisor

Stephen de Bruyn Kops

Third Advisor

Rui Wang

Subject Categories

Industrial Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


Graphics processing units function well as high performance computing devices for scientific computing. The non-standard processor architecture and high memory bandwidth allow graphics processing units (GPUs) to provide some of the best performance in terms of FLOPS per dollar. Recently these capabilities became accessible for general purpose computations with the CUDA programming environment on NVIDIA GPUs and ATI Stream Computing environment on ATI GPUs. Many applications in computational science are constrained by memory access speeds and can be accelerated significantly by using GPUs as the compute engine. Using graphics processing units as a compute engine gives the personal desktop computer a processing capacity that competes with supercomputers. Graphics Processing Units represent an energy efficient architecture for high performance computing in flow simulations and many other fields. This document reviews the graphic processing unit and its features and limitations.