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Researchers find way to boost AMD APU performance by 20 percent

Posted on Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 22:38:01 CET by

Researchers at North Carolina State University have devised a new GPGPU approach that promises a 20 percent performance boost for AMD's Fusion chips. Full details at Bit Tech.
Before we get into the paper, entitled CPU-Assisted GPGPU on Fused CPU-GPU Architecture, there's a couple of things to get out of the way: while the researchers are independent, the research itself was part-funded by AMD while the company's senior fellow architect Mike Mantor is named as a co-author. The team also didn't have real silicon to work with: instead, their results are based on a simulated future AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) featuring shared L3 cache.

With that out of the way, the team's results are still worthy of note. Using the aforementioned simulated silicon, the team were able to convince their code to run 20 per cent faster on average without overclocking the 'chip.'

'Our approach is to allow the GPU cores to execute computational functions, and have CPU cores pre-fetch the data the GPUs will need from off-chip main memory,' paper co-author and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering Huiyang Zhou explains. 'This is more efficient because it allows CPUs and GPUs to do what they are good at. GPUs are good at performing computations. CPUs are good at making decisions and flexible data retrieval.'



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