A look at NVIDIA's CUDA by a programmer

Posted on Friday, Mar 02 2007 @ 03:23 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Bryan O'Sullivan takes a look at NVIDIA's new CUDA which allows programmers to let GPUs do CPU tasks. Here's a snip:
I spent a while this evening reading through the documentation for the beta release of NVIDIA’s CUDA GPGPU system. My motivation for this was that nvcc, the CUDA compiler, is based on a code drop of the EkoPath compiler, which I’ve worked on intermittently over the past few years.

The programming model that these GPUs enforce is incredibly complex. It’s more than a little reminiscent of the Connection Machine (for a blast from the past, see a collection of scanned CM-5 documentation.

The idea is that the GPU executes a “kernel” of compute-intensive, highly parallelisable, code on behalf of the CPU. Data is transferred to the GPU when a kernel starts to execute, and back to the host when it completes. The GPU may execute multiple kernels simultaneously, if it is capable of it.


About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.



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