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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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RE: pwnd
By omnicronx on 7/2/2008 3:06:47 PM , Rating: 3
Just to comment on your "in order processing is a huge bottleneck" comment.
That's only true if you have a single in order core. With multiple in order cores working on seperate threads, it's not as much of an issue
I really can not agree with you, you brought up the atom so I will use it as an example. The current Intel 1.6GHZ atom can barely compete with the old celeron 1.2ghz, in which the celeron actually beats it out on most tests. Although this is a single core processor, Intel had to bring back a new implementation of hyperthreading just to bring up the performance to somewhat of a respectable level. So even with multiple threads being excecuted at the same time, performance was at least 1/3 below what a 3 year old out of order processor can do.

I also understand about the power savings with in order processing, but really in a GPGPU who cares? Intel is trying to come out and say they have the holy grail of GPUS that can do just about anything from laptop to desktop to high end GPGPU computing, when in reality they have come up with a unified architecture between all three with one small hiccup, its seems to be far less efficient in two of those fields. (desktop and GPGPU markets)

The way I see it, an all in one solution has never been as good as a standalone product that curtails to the certain area or market. I do give the nod in the fact it seems they have found a way to unify their archecture along all of its lines, but in the end will this be better for Intel or for the consumer, my guess is the later, but what do I know ;)
In the end, only time will tell.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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