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Nvidia says Larrabee is Intel's reaction to CUDA

Discussion in 'Intel' started by NV55, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. NV55

    NV55 Guest


    Nvidia: Larrabee is a reaction to CUDA

    Posted at: 4:26pm 21st July 2008 by Ben Hardwidge

    Nvidia responds to Pat Gelsinger’s comments about CUDA being just a
    ‘footnote’ in computing history

    Intel may have put the wind up the graphics business with the
    development of its Larrabee graphics chip, but Nvidia reckons that
    Larrabee is just a reaction to what Nvidia has already achieved with
    its GPGPU CUDA technology. What’s more, the comments from Intel’s Pat
    Gelsinger earlier this month have also stirred up a debate about the
    future of multi-core programming.

    Nvidia’s general manager of its GPU computing group, Andy Keane, told
    Custom PC that the high level of interest in CUDA 'is causing
    Larrabee. Larrabee’s the reaction.’ He then added that ‘these comments
    from Gelsinger; if we were not making a lot of headway do you think
    he’d even give us a moment’s notice? No. It’s because he sees a lot of
    this activity. The strategy is to try to position it [CUDA] as
    something scary and unique, and it’s really not; it’s something that’s
    very accessible.’

    Gelsinger said that CUDA would end up in the ‘interesting footnotes in
    the history of computing annals – they had great promise and there
    were a few applications that were able to take advantage of them.’ He
    then added that ‘generally an evolutionary compatible computing model,
    such as we’re proposing with Larrabee, we expect will be the right
    answer long term.’

    However, Nvidia says that Gelsinger’s comments were misleading. ‘We
    use common languages,’ says Keane, ‘and this is where the Gelsinger
    information is totally misinformed, because it [CUDA] is standard C.
    It is actually the open 64 compiler which was originally designed for
    the Itanium – that’s our compiler. We’re actually using a CPU
    compiler, but we’ve given it a set of rules that basically say “if you
    write your program this way, it will scale across a few cores, or
    hundreds of cores.”’

    ‘Industry standard languages always live,’ added Keane, ‘that’s kind
    of the misinformation from Gelsinger. We’re just C, and CUDA’s just a
    set of rules around C.’ Keane was also keen to point out that Intel
    was also behind the times when Anwar Ghuloum, a principal engineer
    with Intel's Microprocessor Technology Lab, said: ‘developers should
    start thinking about tens, hundreds, and thousands of cores now.’

    ‘There’s the Gelsinger point, which is inconsistent in itself,’ said
    Keane, but there’s also the other guy who said that programmers should
    get ready for thousands of cores. Well, we already have a programming
    language; that’s the goal of CUDA. We’re already here with hundreds of
    cores - now we’re at 240 processor cores.’

    Larrabee is a forthcoming discrete graphics chip from Intel that’s
    based on multiple x86 cores rather than stream processors. It will be
    compatible with standard 3D APIs, including DirectX and Open GL, but
    Gelsinger also promised ‘a broad set of new programming models to go
    with it.’ Many have speculated that Larrabee could also be used for
    ray tracing and physics calculations, as well as other tasks. Little
    is known about Larrabee yet, but more details will be released later
    this year at Siggraph.
    NV55, Jul 21, 2008
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