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GPU Computing
« on: June 27, 2010, 02:05:07 PM »
AMD believes that the IT industry is nearing a stage where HPCs (high-performance computers) will need to adopt a new type of configuration if they hope to keep getting stronger and more efficient. At present, many supercomputers are exclusively powered by x86 processors. Nevertheless, GPU computing modules have already started to show up as part of the more recent installments. This idea seems to be in tune with even Intel's belief that Larrabee and MIC architectures should become integral parts of such conglomerates, as well as servers and data centers.

Predictably, Advanced Micro Devices doesn't see graphics processors completely replacing the x86 solutions, since operating systems and other software, as well as certain codes, cannot run on just the GPU. Basically, a so-called age of heterogeneous supercomputing, and not all-GPU computing, is on the horizon.

“I think what CPUs and GPUs can do is change the mix [of their existence inside servers]. The x86 CPU architecture is on the curve towards the end of Moore’s law due to power limitations… It is hard to build an exascale server using purely x86 technology because that server is going to be too big and will consume too much power. There are already scalability limitations and some of them are pretty thoroughly explored. So, the mix between CPUs and GPUs will, I think, potentially, change,” said Patricia Harrell, director of Stream computing at AMD, in a conversation with X-bit labs.

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