It is difficult to runtime optimize away the difference between a CPU and GPU

Article: Introduction to OpenCL
By: hobold (hobold.delete@this.vectorizer.org), December 11, 2010 3:35 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Mark Roulo (nothanks@xxx.com) on 12/10/10 wrote:
---------------------------

>Asking a runtime to perform this sort of runtime optimization is asking a LOT.

We don't expect our scalar compilers to do that either (yet?). Nor do we expect them to rewrite floating point arithmetic into fixed point arithmetic (or vice versa). Or implicit formulas into parametric formulas. Or whatever high level transition is required to fit the same idea to two very different machines.

If we had compilers that did this, we would not need OpenCL.


OpenCL provides common concepts and common terminology to many massively data parallel platforms: a common language. But the hardware is still diversified, and when we want utmost performance, we still need to tune for each platform individually, just like we always did.

What OpenCL enables is parameterized algorithms (like FFTW or ATLAS) crossing the borders between GPUs of different making, CPUs, exotic processors like Cell, and possibly a few more upcoming architectures. The various machines will not be equalized by OpenCL, but we gain a level of abstraction that lets us treat them as essentially the same. For an appropriate definition of "essential" ... :-)
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      It is difficult to runtime optimize away the difference between a CPU and GPUMark Roulo2010/12/10 07:50 PM
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          It is difficult to runtime optimize away the difference between a CPU and GPUMark Roulo2010/12/12 01:20 PM
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