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     A GPU computing framework for the Linux kernel
      Posted on 10/05/2011 at 14:39 by Guillaume
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    NVIDIA Logo 2010The University of Utah, in partnership with NVIDIA, has just made available an original project for Linux known as KGPU. The idea is to offer a GPU computing framework for the Linux kernel in the form of a mini driver that can communicate with CUDA modules, which will nevertheless continue to be executed in user mode. On paper it looks interesting as it can offload some systems taks onto the graphics card and its GPU. To illustrate the concept, the authors have rewritten an encryption module for eCryptfs to demo GPU augmentation. You can see the test for this here. While the read results are convincing, the gains in write depend enormously on the size of the data written.

    KGPU remains more of demonstration of what might be done than anything else for the moment, largely because the encryption algorithm currently encrypted (ECB) isn’t considered to be secure. In absolute terms, the point of encryption that requires the transit of data in a user memory space because of the KGPU framework can also be questioned. In addition, although the method, which consists in using a mini driver on the kernel side and a driver in user mode, is fine for most tasks, in the case of critical tasks, such as disk accesses, handling of memory may become problematic.

    In any case, it is an interesting initiative and may well encourage those currently pushing GPGPU computing to offer OpenCL drivers that can also execute code on the kernel side.

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