[Beowulf] NVIDIA buying PGI
landman at scalableinformatics.com
Mon Aug 5 06:47:12 PDT 2013
Would have replied earlier, but spent Thursday night -> Sunday
recovering from an injury due to sparring. I've learned that I have
intercostal muscles, and I can injure them (/sigh).
On 08/01/2013 05:39 PM, "C. Bergström" wrote:
> On 08/ 2/13 04:21 AM, Joe Landman wrote:
>> Ok, quickie poll on Beowulf:
>> a) whom is running Intel and/or AMD kit?
>> b) whom is considering running new AMD kit?
>> c) whom would reconsider if PG end-of-lifed (which I think is Dave's
>> speculation) the AMD targeted compiler?
>> d) whom doesn't really care about PG's eol status
> d), but I'm biased ;)
> No need for this conversation to be heated - It's clear this is a
> strategic acquisition meant to strengthen their (NV) market position and
> has the *potential* to define future programming models.
> More importantly - do you care if PG doesn't support OpenMP 4? What
> really makes them unique enough for people to care?
I should point out, as it probably didn't come across, that I am a huge
fan of the PG compiler suite. I've been a paying customer in the past,
and somewhat regret that we don't have enough projects that could make
use of it so that I could justify the cost. Same issue with the other
non-free compilers. Gcc and related handle most of my compilation these
days, simply because I don't do so much of that any more.
This said, I think its important to separate the facts from the emotion,
and I wasn't getting heated about this conversation. Replying with
incredulity that someone whom I highly respect would strongly suggest
something that sounds ... well ....
Facts are we don't know PG's plans. We do know that NVidia is getting
into ARM in a big way. And that PG has some very cool technologies to
make a single code base across accelerators and substrate computing
(where you plug the accelerators into). So one might reasonably suppose
that PG will *increase* their ARM support, especially for the NVidia
Facts are we don't know NVidia's plans for PG. I think they see CUDA as
being a potentially limiting factor for code adoption (violates
everyone's "avoid vendor lockin" mantra), and needed to get better at
saying "hey it just works, try it with this fancy compiler, toss these
directives in it, and your code will run like normal on normal systems,
and accelerated on accelerated systems."
Basically I am saying this was a smart move on NVidia's part, a smart
tie up for PG, and generally speaking, I believe it to be good, at least
on its face, for the industry.
For those whom aren't aware, I am a huge proponent of accelerators and
accelerator technology, and I loved PG's OpenMP like approach prior to
OpenMP addressing the issue. I am also an OpenMP fan.
Does this acquisition reduce customer choice? Not as of yet, and its
not obvious it will. It could, and companies could decide to stop
supporting (insert random platform here) for (insert random reason
here), which "reduces choice in market" due to business considerations
(cost of continuing those operations, acquisition, strategic focus,
...). Is removal of product support anti-competitive? Only when the
product is a dominant player in the market. I think it would be hard to
argue that PG was dominant. They are good, of that there is no doubt.
But I don't think they've been spectacularly profitable. Tools
companies rarely are.
Basically, I am saying I simply don't see it, even with the most
generous reading of the situation ... I simply cannot imagine that this
is anticompetitive in any way shape or form.
Moreover, as Intel owns/controls MIC, and a processor platform set, and
a compiler, if anything, a regulator would have a very hard time arguing
that NVidia cannot gird itself the way its competitors do.
I like PG, and I'd love to have a few more projects where I could use
them (same of Intel, PathScale, etc.). I am not worried about "loss of
choice" in the market. I don't think anyone should.
Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics, Inc.
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web : http://scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 786 8423 x121
fax : +1 866 888 3112
cell : +1 734 612 4615
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