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  • OpenCL: the next GPGPU standard?
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     OpenCL: the next GPGPU standard?
      Posted on 17/06/2008 at 21:22 by Nicolas
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    Yesterday, in addition to the presentation of the FireStream 9250, AMD also announced that it was joining the Khronos Compute Working Group. This working group aims to develop standards for parallel calculation and to offer specifications for OpenCL (Open Computer Language), as language for GPGPUs based on C was created with by an initiative by Apple. The group already includes 3Dlabs, AMD, ARM, Codeplay, Ericsson, Freescale, Graphic Remedy, IBM, Imagination Technologies, Intel, Nokia, Nvidia, Motorola, QNX, Qualcomm, Samsung, Seaweed, TI as well as the University of Umeå.

    While with CUDA, a programming language (also close to C), which enables using the core of the GeForce supporting DirectX 10, Nvidia seems to be well on its way AMD’s FireStream SDK solution has been offered for several months now and a beta version (v1.01.0) for Linux was recently put online.

    Efforts from AMD’s graphic division seem to be bearing their fruit because Rogue Wave Software (specialized in C++ components) and RapidMind (Multi-Core Development Platform, for simplifying parallel calculations) have just announced their support for the Canadian company’s solution. In both cases, these are solutions capable of using the combined power of ET CPUs and GPUs, suggesting some attractive perspectives. Other companies such as CAPS entreprise, Mercury Computer Systems and VizExperts are developing and working with AMD on FireStream.

    Surely, this isn’t that significant compared to the amount of attention CUDA is currently receiving, but it does confirm that besides their traditional functions GPUs sold by AMD can and are starting to be used for something other than folding molecules with Folding@Home. And with at least two or three companies (by counting Intel with its Larrabee) initially in the race, the launch of OpenCL comes at the right time.



     AMD: a new CPU for UMPCs?
      Posted on 17/06/2008 at 11:30 by Nicolas - source: Eee PC News
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    The number of microprocessors manufacturers for MIDs, UMPCs and Eee PC clones has grown. We can count Intel with its Celeron-M and Atom, VIA with its C7-M and Nano, Nvidia with Tegra as well as several Chinese companies, notably the Loongson (produced by ST) and XBurst processors. AMD seems to be the only one missing from this market. Its Geode appears to have some trouble riding the current wave with a potential exception to the OLPC; however, given its relative seniority and very particular destination, it’s a special case.

    This could soon change because the Californian company is currently working on a low power CPU.


    Specifications seem interesting because power consumption of the CPU-Northbridge does not surpass 8W. However, this reminds us of the Sempron 2100+ which was launched a little less than a year ago. There are certain differences, notably in terms of the memory controller and format, but it will be interesting to see if AMD actually developed a new CPU. Otherwise, it chose to “castrate” an existing product in order to concentrate on other aspects such as the power consumption of the chipset.


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