[Beowulf] difference between accelerators and co-processors

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Thu Mar 14 04:08:39 PDT 2013

hi Amjad,

I would like to point to 1 really important practical difference.

co-processors can have magnificent latency from the co-processor to  
the cpu. In the nano-seconds.
Accelerators i'd argue typically go via pci-e or similar, so have  
horrible latency, in the microseconds or slower.

Accelerators are just there for massive bandwidth based number  
crunching in general - take Xeon Phi or K20 from Nvidia or AMD's
attempt there.

On Mar 10, 2013, at 5:36 PM, amjad ali wrote:

> Hello All,
> Is there any line/point to make distinction between accelerators  
> and co-processors (that are used in conjunction with the primary  
> CPU to boost up the performance)? or these terms can be used  
> interchangeably?
> Specifically, the word "accelerator" is used commonly with GPU. On  
> the other hand  the word "co-processors" is used commonly with Xeon  
> Phi.
> Thank you.
> Regards,
> Amjad
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