[Beowulf] GP-GPU experience

Greg Lindahl lindahl at pbm.com
Mon Apr 4 22:22:39 PDT 2011

On Mon, Apr 04, 2011 at 09:54:37AM -0700, Massimiliano Fatica wrote:

> If you are old enough to remember the time when the first distribute
> computers appeared on the scene,
> this is a deja-vu.

Not to mention the prior appearance of array processors. Oil+Gas
bought a lot of those, too. Some important radio astronomy data
reduction algorithms were coded for them -- a VAX 11/780+FPS AP120B
was 10X faster than the VAX by itself. Then microprocessor-based
workstations arrived, and the game was over, ease of use FTW.

> Even on a single system, if you try an auto-parallel/auto-vectorizing
> compiler on a real code, your results will probably be disappointing.

The wins from such compilers have been steadily decreasing, as main
memory gets farther and farther away from the CPU and caches.

-- greg

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