GPU Based Parallel Ising Computing for Combinatorial Optimization Problems in VLSI Physical Design

by   Chase Cook, et al.

In this work, we explore the Ising spin glass model as a solution methodology for hard combinatorial optimization problems using the general purpose GPU (GPGPU). The Ising model is a mathematical model of ferromagnetism in statistical mechanics. Ising computing finds a minimum energy state for the Ising model which essentially corresponds to the expected optimal solution of the original problem. Ising computing is one of the proposed applications for quantum annealing computing and many combinatorial optimization problems can be mapped into the Ising model. In our work, we focus on the max-cut problem as it is relevant to many VLSI physical design problems. Our method is motivated by the observation that Ising computing by the annealing process is very amenable to fine-grain GPU based parallel computing. We will illustrate how the natural randomness of GPU thread scheduling can be exploited during the annealing process to create random update patterns and allow better GPU resource utilization. Furthermore, the proposed GPU-based Ising computing can handle any general Ising graph with arbitrary connections, which was shown to be difficult for existing FPGA and other hardware based implementation methods. Numerical results show that the proposed GPU Ising max-cut solver can deliver more than 2000X speedup over the CPU version of the algorithm on some large examples, which shows huge performance improvement potential for addressing many hard optimization algorithms for practical VLSI physical design.


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