Interest in the study of structural and energetic properties of highly quantum clusters, such as inert gas clusters has motivated the development of a hardware-accelerated framework for Quantum Monte Carlo simulations. In the Quantum Monte Carlo method, the properties of a system of atoms, such as the ground-state energies, are averaged over a number of iterations. Our framework is aimed at accelerating the computations in each iteration of the QMC application by offloading the calculation of properties, namely energy and trial wave function, onto reconfigurable hardware. This gives a user the capability to run simulations for a large number of iterations, thereby reducing the statistical uncertainty in the properties, and for larger clusters. This framework is designed to run on the Cray XD1 high performance reconfigurable computing platform, which exploits the coarse-grained parallelism of the processor along with the fine-grained parallelism of the reconfigurable computing devices available in the form of field-programmable gate arrays. In this paper, we illustrate the functioning of the framework, which can be used to calculate the energies for a model cluster of helium atoms. In addition, we present the capabilities of the framework that allow the user to vary the chemical identities of the simulated atoms.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/robert_hinde/13/