Simulations on GPU. Introduction

Super-computer in your home PC

Modern video cards with thousands of shaders have performance more than 1TFlops. Access to the main GPU memory takes hundreds of cycles and can slow down calculations. But if you have a task in which thousands of independent similar threads start at the same time, then while some of them are waiting for memory other can be calculated. Therefore your GPU may be 100 times faster than CPU.

WebGL and simulations on GPU

We can use "graphical" GLSL shaders to generate fractals on GPU. The fragment shader below calculates color for the pixel with coordinates vec2 gl_FragCoord (see the page source and The Mandelbrot and Julia sets Anatomy). Then WebGL executes the fragment shader for every pixel.

See also GPU Gems 2. Part IV: General-Purpose Computation on GPUS: A Primer.
I'm looking for a (simple) intoduction into OpenGL and simulations on GPU.

WebGL 2

WebGL2 is based on OpenGL ES 3.0 [1,2]. Many its features are available in WebGL1 as extensions. See
WebGL2 Fundamentals, WebGL 2 Samples, Rendering algorithms implemented in raw WebGL 2 by Tarek Sherif

Experimental Compute shaders

Compute shaders will be more suitable for simulations [2]. E.g. one can make calculations on 3D grids (textures) only in one GL call. See
Introduction to compute shaders in OpenGL ES SDK for Android, ARM Developer Center
WebGL 2.0 Compute shader Demos by Kentaro Kawakatsu.

[1] D.Ginsburg, B.Purnomo OpenGL ES 3.0 Programming Guide. Second Edition
[2] D.Shreiner, G.Sellers, J.Kessenich, B.Licea-Kane OpenGL Programming Guide. Eighth Edition
The Official Guide to Learning OpenGL, Version 4.3

Simulations on GPU
updated   27 Jan 2019