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Intel says CUDA will be nothing but a footnote in computer history

Intel and NVIDIA compete in many different ways. The most notable place we see competition between the two companies is in chipset manufacturing. Intel and NVIDIA also compete in the integrated graphics market where Intel’s integrated graphics chips lead the market.

NVIDIA started competing with Intel in the data processing arena with the CUDA programming language. Intel’s Pat Gelsinger, co-general manager of Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group, told Custom PC that NVIDIA’s CUDA programming model would be nothing more than an interesting footnote in the annals of computing history.

According to Gelsinger, programmers simply don’t have enough time to learn how to program for new architectures like CUDA. Gelsinger told Custom PC, “The problem that we’ve seen over and over and over again in the computing industry is that there’s a cool new idea, and it promises a 10x or 20x performance improvements, but you’ve just got to go through this little orifice called a new programming model. Those orifices have always been insurmountable as long as the general purpose computing models evolve into the future.”

The Sony Cell architecture illustrates the point according to Gelsinger. The Cell architecture promised huge performance gains compared to normal architectures, but the architecture still isn’t supported widely by developers.

Intel’s Larrabee graphics chip will be entirely based on Intel Architecture x86 cores says Gelsinger. The reason for this is so that developers can program for the graphics processor without having to learn a new language. Larrabee will have full support for APIs like DX and OpenGL.

NVIDIA’s CUDA architecture is what makes it possible to process complex physics calculations on the GPU, enabling PhysX on the GPU rather than CPU.



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Ball is in the nVidia/ATI court
By djc208 on 7/2/2008 2:37:42 PM , Rating: 4
This statement will be made or broke by ATI/AMD and nVidia. If they can get some games with physics offloaded to their cards, get out the transcoding software, folding and similar applications then I think the market will quickly grow into this area. Learning curve or not.

How many gamers wouldn't love to be able to use all that processing HP in their GPU for something other than the latest game and Windows AERO interface?

The increased demand will bring other companies and more money and people willing to spend more for a better graphics card knowing it will do more than just make games look pretty. How long before some company uses one in a stand-alone device to do video transcoding and playback or similar high throughput work.

On the flip side if they don't help the initial pioneers of this technology show it off it could easily all crumble around them as Intel predicts.




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