Thursday, 1 October 2009


I've just completed reading the white paper released by nvidia which you can find here.

Rather interestingly no mention of graphics performance has been made which, in a way, is really exciting. This has clearly been aimed at the high performance or throughput computing markets with the notable inclusion of ECC memory and increased double precision throughput along with the updated IEEE 754-2008 floating point support.

Concurrent kernel execution and faster context switching will allow, with the use of DAG's, the optimization of execution on the devices rather than just working out the most efficient order of kernels to execute sequentially.

Also tucked away in the white paper is the mention of have predication at the instruction level which should give greater control of divergent paths in your kernels.

The inclusion of C++ support will appeal to a lot of people but am I rather unconvinced this is the correct way to go for throughput computing as it will encourage the use of all the old patterns that may work well in serial cases but are often rather poor for enabling maximum throughput.

There is a lot more in the paper and already an announcement by Oak Ridge that they will be using it in a new supercomputer.

All in all its a wonderful development and I can't help feeling that computing took a substantial leap forward today.

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