Numerical modeling of anisotropic media is a computationally intensive task since it brings additional complexity to the field problem in such a way that the physical properties are different in different directions. Largely used in the aerospace industry because of their lightweight nature, composite materials are a very good example of thermally anisotropic media. With advancements in video gaming technology, parallel processors are much cheaper today and accessibility to higher-end graphical processing devices has increased dramatically over the past couple of years. Since these massively parallel GPUs are very good in handling floating point arithmetic, they provide a new platform for engineers and scientists to accelerate their numerical models using commodity hardware. In this paper we implement a parallel finite difference model of thermal diffusion through anisotropic media using the NVIDIA CUDA (Compute Unified device Architecture). We use the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti as our primary computing device which consists of 384 CUDA cores clocked at 1645 MHz with a standard desktop pc as the host platform. We compare the results from standard CPU implementation for its accuracy and speed and draw implications for simulation using the GPU paradigm. © 2013 American Institute of Physics.