"CUDA is on its way out"

Article: AMD's Analyst Update
By: David Kanter (dkanter.delete@this.realworldtech.com), February 10, 2012 9:19 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Anon (no@email.com) on 2/10/12 wrote:
---------------------------
>David Kanter (dkanter@realworldtech.com) on 2/9/12 wrote:
>---------------------------
>>pk (pk@notmyrealaddress.com) on 2/9/12 wrote:
>>---------------------------
>>>David, the quote above is quite a heavy statement. Could you elaborate?
>>>
>>>Nvidia would certainly argue that CUDA gives you the absolute best performance
>>>for the highly parallel applications often run in HPC environments, and those people
>>>benefit greatly from it. Are you arguing that CUDA will just >stay confined to the HPC space?
>>
>>What is the performance of CUDA code on an AMD GPU? Or Knight's Corner? I'm pretty
>>sure the performance is very bad compared to the alternatives : )
>>
>>I agree that CUDA is acceptable where you want to be tied to NV's hardware. For HPC, that might be fine.
>>
>>But for consumer applications, you need GPU acceleration on ALL hardware platforms.
>>So if you want CUDA, you probably also need OpenCL, etc.
>>
>>At that point, why would you ever bother with CUDA in the first place?
>>
>>My point is that proprietary programming models that are tied to hardware with
>>small marketshare are stupid where alternatives exist. Initially there was no alternative to CUDA. Now there is.
>>
>>David
>
>Yawn. It will not happen that way.
>As long as their is any significant advantage to CUDA over OpenCL (and at present
>there are MANY) there will be dual codepaths for anything big enough to warrant
>it, and more limited apps will choose the direction that >suits them best.

Why would you want two codepaths (or three!) when you could have fewer?

>If performance is not a prime factor, then neither will be used - many apps will
>keep dual paths (and in fact that is really quite simple as they are very similar,
>porting between is much less work than the base >implementation requirements).

How much cost is the performance worth? There's a spectrum there. If it's a 2X difference, it might be worth it. OTOH, if it's 20%, that's hard to justify.

>In OpenCL starts performing as well as CUDA on NVidia then >its a different story,
>but dont hold your breath, OpenCL does have some issues >from trying to be too generic.

I can agree with that to a certain extent. I'm sure there is sensitivity to performance and a significant advantage for CUDA means you might continue with a separate code path. But how much performance is needed to justify that extra effort? That depends on the application, but I'm not sure.

>For example, we commonly see 50-100% performance >differences between CUDA and OpenCL
>- not always, but it is also not uncommon at all, as yet.

For the same code? I'd be curious where the performance delta is coming from...and the extent to which that is really a fundamental OpenCL problem versus implementation.

CUDA is obviously a lot higher level and much simpler to write, but the real problem is that once you're committed to doing OpenCL for AMD and Intel, you really need good reasons to not move from CUDA to OpenCL. As you mentioned, performance is a good reason, and I'd add programmer productivity as another one.

But my real point is that the notion of CUDA as an industry standard is utterly laughable. It's a proprietary API that is popular, particularly for HPC. It's the leader for GPGPU and is likely to continue leading the industry. But it will be very interesting to see how things evolve with Knight's Corner (which has strong backwards compatibility), and the various open APIs.

David
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TopicPosted ByDate
Fused Multiply-Add and HSARichard H.2012/02/07 07:29 PM
  Fused Multiply-Add and HSADavid Kanter2012/02/07 11:54 PM
    "CUDA is on its way out"pk2012/02/09 05:37 AM
      "CUDA is on its way out"David Kanter2012/02/09 11:49 AM
        "CUDA is on its way out"Bryan Catanzaro2012/02/09 12:44 PM
          "CUDA is on its way out"David Kanter2012/02/09 05:48 PM
            "CUDA is on its way out"Anon2012/02/09 07:11 PM
              "CUDA is on its way out"David Kanter2012/02/10 12:00 AM
                "CUDA is on its way out"Michael S2012/02/10 04:54 AM
                "CUDA is on its way out"Anon2012/02/10 06:42 PM
                  Proprietary SW interfaces and hardware vendorsDavid Kanter2012/02/10 09:07 PM
                    Proprietary SW interfaces and hardware vendorsAnon2012/02/11 04:08 AM
                      Proprietary SW interfaces and hardware vendorsAnon2012/02/11 04:12 AM
                      Proprietary SW interfaces and hardware vendorsDel2012/02/11 08:39 AM
                  "CUDA is on its way out"Del2012/02/11 08:33 AM
                "NVIDIA is on its way out"Brendan2012/02/10 10:42 PM
                  "NVIDIA is on its way out"anonymous2012/02/11 11:37 AM
              "CUDA is on its way out"Del2012/02/11 08:22 AM
                "CUDA is on its way out"Anon2012/02/11 04:11 PM
                  ispc on GPUsMatt Pharr2012/02/12 10:02 AM
                    ispc on GPUsAnon2012/02/13 03:34 PM
          "CUDA is on its way out"Erwin Coumans2012/02/09 09:39 PM
            "CUDA is on its way out"Brett2012/02/10 12:54 PM
              "CUDA is on its way out"David Kanter2012/02/10 04:00 PM
              "CUDA is on its way out"Anon2012/02/10 06:45 PM
                "CUDA is on its way out"Brett2012/02/10 08:20 PM
                  "CUDA is on its way out"David Kanter2012/02/10 08:58 PM
                    "CUDA is on its way out"Brett2012/02/11 07:15 AM
                      Macroscalarnone2012/02/11 08:40 AM
        "CUDA is on its way out"Anon2012/02/10 06:39 PM
          "CUDA is on its way out"David Kanter2012/02/10 09:19 PM
            "CUDA is on its way out"Anon2012/02/11 04:33 AM
          "CUDA is on its way out"NN2012/02/14 04:24 PM
            "CUDA is on its way out"Anon2012/02/15 04:16 PM
        "CUDA is on its way out"bakaneko2012/02/11 05:31 AM
      "CUDA is on its way out"Aaron Spink2012/02/10 12:29 AM
  Fused Multiply-Add and HSAEduardoS2012/02/08 03:11 PM
    Fused Multiply-Add and HSAFoo_2012/02/09 06:24 AM
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