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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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More Geisinger hot-air...
By kilkennycat on 7/2/2008 4:14:44 PM , Rating: 4
Geisinger sure is doing well with his out of water marketing-driven fish-flops since all he has on Larrabee at the moment is paper. Hopefully, he won't find out in a year or two that it is the toilet variety....

Geisinger's pronouncements without any hardware and only vague architectural models to back them up is a betrayal of Intel's anxiety over nVidia's (and ATi's) GPGPU exercises.
No doubt nVidia is making GT280s and extensive programming support readily available to any professional apps and leading games developer that requests their assistance and probably working with MS on appropriate extensions to their DX API. MS is no doubt not pleased that Intel has publicly declined to get on board in-house with Vista, plus shafted by Intel on their Vista-Ready initiative, so why should they hang around for 1.5 years waiting on Intel? No love lost there.... And since AMD is really struggling in the CPU business, it would only make sense for their currently more successful ATi offshoot to follow nVidia's lead in the GPGPU arena to blunt any potential impact on their CPU business from Larrabee.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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