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Advances in digital detector technology leads presently to rapidly increasing data rates in imaging experiments. Using fast two-dimensional detectors in computed tomography, the data acquisition can be much faster than the reconstruction if no adequate measures are taken, especially when a high photon flux at synchrotron sources is used. We have optimized the reconstruction software employed at the micro-tomography beamlines of our synchrotron facilities to use the computational power of modern graphic cards. The main paradigm of our approach is the full utilization of all system resources. We use a pipelined architecture, where the GPUs are used as compute coprocessors to reconstruct slices, while the CPUs are preparing the next ones. Special attention is devoted to minimize data transfers between the host and GPU memory and to execute memory transfers in parallel with the computations. We were able to reduce the reconstruction time by a factor 30 and process a typical data set of 20 GB in 40 seconds. The time needed for the first evaluation of the reconstructed sample is reduced significantly and quasi real-time visualization is now possible.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2011