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heterogeneous computing

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Original author: 
Peter Bright

AMD

AMD wants to talk about HSA, Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA), its vision for the future of system architectures. To that end, it held a press conference last week to discuss what it's calling "heterogeneous Uniform Memory Access" (hUMA). The company outlined what it was doing, and why, both confirming and reaffirming the things it has been saying for the last couple of years.

The central HSA concept is that systems will have multiple different kinds of processors, connected together and operating as peers. The two main kinds of processors are conventional: versatile CPUs and the more specialized GPUs.

Modern GPUs have enormous parallel arithmetic power, especially floating point arithmetic, but are poorly-suited to single-threaded code with lots of branches. Modern CPUs are well-suited to single-threaded code with lots of branches, but less well-suited to massively parallel number crunching. Splitting workloads between a CPU and a GPU, using each for the workloads it's good at, has driven the development of general purpose GPU (GPGPU) software and development.

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Re-Configurable EXASCALE Computing

Google Tech Talk February 15, 2011 Presented by Steven J Wallach, Convey Computer Corp. ABSTRACT HPC research is focused on achieving ExaFlop/ExaOP performance by 2020. Unlike reaching a PetaFlop, the general consensus is that vastly new programming paradigms, hardware architectures, and interconnects will be needed (as well as new power plants). This presentation will be focused on increasing uni-processor performance and the roles played by application specific heterogeneous computing and compilers in evolving processor architecture. Steven J Wallach is a founder of Convey Computer Corporation and is an adviser to venture capital firms CenterPoint Ventures, Sevin-Rosen and InterWest Partners. Previously, he served as vice president of technology for Chiaro Networks Ltd., and as co-founder, chief technology officer and senior vice president of development of Convex Computer Corporation. After Hewlett-Packard Co. bought Convex, Wallach became chief technology officer of HP's Enterprise Systems Group. Wallach served as a consultant to the US Department of Energy's Advanced Simulation and Computing Program at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1998 to 2007. He was also a visiting professor at Rice University in 1998 and 1999, and was manager of advanced development for Data General Corporation. His efforts on the MV/8000 are chronicled in Tracy Kidder's Pulitzer Prize winning book, "The Soul of a New Machine." Wallach, who has 34 patents, is a member of the National <b>...</b>
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