updated 09:05 pm EDT, Wed August 20, 2008
Apple adds CUDA dev kit
Apple has updated its download site with the latest version of the NVIDIA CUDA development kit. CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) allows users to crunch mathematical formulas using the GPU resident inside a computer, speeding up otherwise lengthy tasks, such as encoding video or other rich media, as well as scientific and design uses. The kit will allow developers to tweak their code to run optimally on systems such as the MacBook Pro, and its GeForce 8600M graphics chipset.
The NVIDIA CUDA 2.0 kit is freely available from NVIDIA's site as a 21MB download; which allows developers to write software capable of complex computation, effectively using the GPU as an open programming platform like a CPU.
CUDA was developed by NVIDIA in 2006 as an architecture for advanced programming that takes advantage of additional capabilities offered by parallel processing with multiple cores. This compiler works by feeding calculation data to the massively multi-cored GPU systems, allowing them to break down the code in a shorter span of time than is normally required by sequentially-operating main processors.
NVIDIA claims there are 90 million CUDA compatible GPUs already purchased by customers around the world. The company recently argued the advantages of using C language architecture, which developers are already used to working with, compared with new architecture such as Ct being developed by Intel.
The news follows rumors that Apple is examining a new partnership over an NVIDIA-designed logic board for its compact notebooks, while still retaining connectivity with Intel controller hardware.
Updated to reflect that the kit is not Apple developed and is not still in a beta stage.