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Establish Arrays on a GPU

A gpuArray in MATLAB® represents an array that is stored on the GPU. For a complete list of functions that support arrays on the GPU, see Run MATLAB Functions on a GPU.

Create GPU Arrays from Existing Data

Send Arrays to the GPU

GPU arrays can be created by transferring existing arrays from the workspace to the GPU. Use the gpuArray function to transfer an array from MATLAB to the GPU:

N = 6;
M = magic(N);
G = gpuArray(M);

You can accomplish this in a single line of code:

G = gpuArray(magic(N));

G is now a MATLAB gpuArray object that represents the magic square stored on the GPU. The input provided to gpuArray must be numeric (for example: single, double, int8, etc.) or logical. (See also Work with Complex Numbers on a GPU.)

Retrieve Arrays from the GPU

Use the gather function to retrieve arrays from the GPU to the MATLAB workspace. This takes an array that is on the GPU represented by a gpuArray object, and transfers it to the MATLAB workspace as a regular MATLAB array. You can use isequal to verify that you get the correct values back:

G = gpuArray(ones(100,'uint32'));
D = gather(G);
OK = isequal(D,ones(100,'uint32'))

Gathering back to the CPU can be costly, and is generally not necessary unless you need to use your result with functions that do not support gpuArray.

Example: Transfer Array to the GPU

Create a 1000-by-1000 random matrix in MATLAB, and then transfer it to the GPU:

X = rand(1000);
G = gpuArray(X);

Example: Transfer Array of a Specified Precision

Create a matrix of double-precision random values in MATLAB, and then transfer the matrix as single-precision from MATLAB to the GPU:

X = rand(1000);
G = gpuArray(single(X));

Create GPU Arrays Directly

A number of functions allow you to directly construct arrays on the GPU by specifying the 'gpuArray' type as an input argument. These functions require only array size and data class information, so they can construct an array without having to transfer any elements from the MATLAB workspace. For more information, see gpuArray.

Example: Construct an Identity Matrix on the GPU

To create a 1024-by-1024 identity matrix of type int32 on the GPU, type

II = eye(1024,'int32','gpuArray');
        1024        1024

With one numerical argument, you create a 2-dimensional matrix.

Example: Construct a Multidimensional Array on the GPU

To create a 3-dimensional array of ones with data class double on the GPU, type

G = ones(100,100,50,'gpuArray');
   100   100    50

The default class of the data is double, so you do not have to specify it.

Example: Construct a Vector on the GPU

To create a 8192-element column vector of zeros on the GPU, type

Z = zeros(8192,1,'gpuArray');
        8192           1

For a column vector, the size of the second dimension is 1.

Examine gpuArray Characteristics

There are several functions available for examining the characteristics of a gpuArray object:

underlyingTypeClass of the underlying data in the array
existsOnGPUIndication if array exists on the GPU and is accessible
isrealIndication if array data is real

Determine if underlying array data is of specified class, such as double

isequalDetermine if two or more arrays are equal
isnumericDetermine if an array is of a numeric data type
issparseDetermine if an array is sparse
lengthLength of vector or largest array dimension
mustBeUnderlyingTypeValidate that array has specified underlying type, such as double
ndimsNumber of dimensions in the array
sizeSize of array dimensions

For example, to examine the size of the gpuArray object G, type:

G = rand(100,'gpuArray');
s = size(G)
    100   100

Save and Load gpuArray Objects

You can save gpuArray variables as MAT files for later use. When you save a gpuArray from the MATLAB workspace, the data is saved as a gpuArray variable in a MAT file. When you load a MAT file containing a gpuArray variable, the data is loaded onto the GPU as a gpuArray.


You can load MAT files containing gpuArray data as in-memory arrays when a GPU is not available. A gpuArray loaded without a GPU is limited and you cannot use it for computations. To use a gpuArray loaded without a GPU, retrieve the contents using gather.

For more information about how to save and load variables in the MATLAB workspace, see Save and Load Workspace Variables.

See Also

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