Supercomputing simulations promise better silicon understanding

June 10, 2011 – Marketwire — Chinese researchers used a supercomputer to run high-performance molecular simulation, looking to improve production and use of crystalline silicon (c-Si) for photovoltaics and semiconductors.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Process Engineering (CAS-IPE) researchers used Tianhe-1A, which was named the world’s fastest supercomputer in 2010 by the Top 500 organization. Tianhe-1A performed a simulation on 7,168 NVIDIA Tesla GPUs, creating 5x better performance than the previous highest-performing molecular simulation, and on a scope twice as big. The simulation modeled the behavior of 110 billion atoms at 1.87 petaflops of performance.

The simulations came "closer than ever" to modeling real crystalline silicon material behavior and true properties in various conditions, said Dr. Wenlai Huang, research associate at CAS-IPE, who notes that the simulations take less time and money than experimental exercises.

Members of the CAS-IPE research team will present the research at the GPU Tech Conference (GTC) in San Jose, CA, May 14-17, 2012, and at GTC China, December 15-16, 2011 in Beijing.

NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) expertise in programmable GPUs has led to breakthroughs in parallel processing that make supercomputing inexpensive and widely accessible. For more information, see

Subscribe to Photovoltaics World

Follow Photovoltaics World on via editors Pete Singer, and Debra Vogler,

Or join our Facebook group


Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account. Comments won't automatically be posted to your social media accounts unless you select to share.