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

Bogdan Costescu Bogdan.Costescu at iwr.uni-heidelberg.de
Mon Jun 23 09:44:34 PDT 2008

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 ?

Bogdan Costescu

IWR, University of Heidelberg, INF 368, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Phone: +49 6221 54 8869/8240, Fax: +49 6221 54 8868/8850
E-mail: bogdan.costescu at iwr.uni-heidelberg.de

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