Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Accelerator: Microsoft GPGPU

via, a new Microsoft paper on GPGPU:

"GPUs are difficult to program for general-purpose uses. Programmers must learn graphics APIs and convert their applications to use graphics pipeline operations. We describe Accelerator, a system that simplifies the programming of GPUs for general-purpose uses. Accelerator provides a high-level data-parallel programming model as a library that is available from a conventional imperative programming language. The library translates the data-parallel operations on-the-fly to optimized GPU pixel shader code and API calls. We describe the compilation techniques used to produce optimized pixel shader code. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach by providing results for a set of compute-intensive benchmarks drawn from image processing and computer vision. The speeds of the Accelerator versions of the benchmarks are typically within 50\% of the speeds of hand-written pixel shader code. Some benchmarks significantly outperform C versions running on a CPU: they are up to 18 times faster than C code running on a CPU."



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