[Beowulf] NVIDIA GPUs, CUDA, MD5, and "hobbyists"

Mattijs Janssens m.janssens at opencfd.co.uk
Tue Jun 24 04:17:34 EDT 2008


On Monday 23 June 2008 17:44, Bogdan Costescu wrote:
> On Wed, 18 Jun 2008, Prentice Bisbal wrote:
> > The biggest hindrance to doing "real" work with GPUs is the lack of
> > dual-precision capabilities.
>
> I think that the biggest hindrance is a unified API or language for
> all these accelerators (taking into account not only the GPUs !). Many
> developers are probably scared that their code depends on the whim of
> the accelerator producer in terms of long-term compatibility of the
> source code with the API or language or of the binary code with the
> available hardware; sure, you can't prevent the hardware being
> obsoleted or the company from going out of bussiness, but if you're
> only one recompilation away it's manageable.
>
> At the last week's ISC'08, after the ATI/AMD and NVidia talks, someone
> asked a NVidia guy about any plans of unification with at least
> ATI/AMD on this front and the answer was "we're not there yet"...
> while the ATI/AMD presentation went on to say "we learnt from mistakes
> with our past implementations and we present you now with OpenCL" -
> yet another way of programming their GPU...
>
> I see this situation very similar to the SSE vs. 3Dnow of some years
> ago or the one before MPI came to replace all the proprietary
> communication libraries. Anybody else shares this view ?

Most certainly! We're looking at all these exciting technologies (gpu, cell, 
etc.) but all these programming difficulties are definitely holding us back. 
A standardised solution like mpi would be great. There is a second outcome 
though - one of the manufacturers gets a virtual monopoly. (and my guess is 
it will be the manufacturer with the latest chip technology and closest 
integration with the processor ;-)


-- 

Mattijs Janssens
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