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NVIDIA porting CUDA to run directly on x86 chips

updated 02:15 pm EDT, Tue September 21, 2010

NVIDIA CUDA to run natively on x86 chips

NVIDIA chief Jen-Hsun Huang today at its GPU Technology Conference said his company would bring its CUDA general-purpose computing language directly to x86 chips. The approach developed with the Portland Group will let systems without NVIDIA cards handle the code. It will work best with multi-core processors and is seen as ideal for servers.

A timetable isn't yet available for when CUDA will be ready to make the switch or which platforms will have direct access to x86. Both Mac OS X and Windows have native CUDA support and may get the added support relatively soon.

The move is potentially a hedge against universal standards. Both Microsoft's DirectCompute and the more universal OpenCL don't require a graphics chipset to run. Concepts of general-purpose computing languages came about to help calculate physics and other advanced math in parallel rather than depend solely on a single stream of code.

by MacNN Staff



  1. QualleyIV

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So wait...

    CUDA is a language that (basically) lets general purpose tasks run on a GPU. Now you're going to take that and port it to a general purpose processor? That doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense...

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: So wait...

    It makes perfect sense.

    If CUDA can only run on graphics processors, then the code only works on computers with a graphics card that supports it. Thus, if you're writing some software and want to take advantage of CUDA, you actually have to write the code twice, once for CUDA and once for not.

    If CUDA is ported to a standard CPU, then you only have to write that code to CUDA, and let the system decide where the code is going to run.

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