updated 04:35 pm EDT, Fri June 6, 2008
Apple to adopt CUDA?
Apple may be looking to adopt proprietary Nvidia code for Macs, an interview reveals. The latter company's CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, has proposed that Apple is extremely interested in his company's CUDA programming language, which simplifies the coding process for Nvidia graphics hardware and can in theory improve performance. In February, an early Mac SDK for CUDA was released in the form of a beta.
"Apple knows a lot about CUDA," Huang observes. The company is in fact said to be interested in more deeply exploiting graphics hardware in Macs, although Apple would take Nvidia technology and make it its own. Any result "won't be called CUDA," Huang comments.
For Apple the advantage would likely be expanding on parallel processing. While Mac OS X Leopard takes advantage of multi-core CPUs, running several instructions simultaneously, GPUs are often restricted to linear processing, except in cases of graphics software and a handful of other programs. Apple's solution would likely involve parallel processing even in the case of routine functions; Nvidia this week demonstrated a QuickTime-like program written for CUDA, able to dramatically increase the speed of transcoding video for devices like the iPhone.