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What is Asynchronous Compute and should you care?

Posted on Wednesday, August 31 2016 @ 11:39:33 CEST by

An in-depth post about Asynchronous Compute was published at the HardOCP Forums, you can read it over here. In the topic, Ieldra explains what Asynchronous Compute is, what is does, what misconceptions there are, and how AMD and NVIDIA implemented it.
Right off that bat it's worth saying the term 'asynchronous' is abused and misused all the time; if two events are asynchronous they are time-independent of each other. Developers have made claims about their 'async compute' implementations in the past that have been rather confusing because it's usually applied to rendering tasks; it ain't asynchronous if there are data dependencies. To my knowledge, there is no title that actually makes use of ASYNCHRONOUS compute. Most use cases would fall under the third bullet point quoted above.

Asynchronous execution arises when you do not have to wait for a routine to return before dispatching additional work, at least that's how it's conventionally defined, which is somewhat similar to how concurrency was defined earlier - which many people find confusing.



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