Equalizer Graphics have announced the release of Equalizer 0.6, a major advance in parallel OpenGL rendering. Equalizer is middleware for creating parallel OpenGL-based applications, including GPGPU applications. It enables applications to benefit from multiple graphics cards, processors and computers to scale rendering performance, visual quality and display size. Equalizer 0.6 adds support for Automatic load-balancing for 2D and DB decompositions, DPlex (time-multiplex) compounds, and Paracomp compositing backend. See the release notes on the Equalizer website for a comprehensive list of new features, enhancements, optimizations and bug fixes.
The complete course notes from the “Beyond Programmable Shading” SIGGRAPH 2008 course , are available online. The course gives an introduction to parallel programming architectures and environments for interactive graphics and explores case studies of combining traditional rendering API usage with advanced parallel computation from game developers, researchers, and graphics hardware vendors. There are strong indications that the future of interactive graphics involves a programming model more flexible than today’s OpenGL and Direct3D pipelines. As such, graphics developers need a basic understanding of how to combine emerging parallel programming techniques with the traditional interactive rendering pipeline. This course gives an introduction to several parallel graphics architectures and programming environments, and introduces the new types of graphics algorithms that will be possible. The case studies in the class discuss the mix of parallel programming constructs used, details of the graphics algorithms, and how the rendering pipeline and computation interact to achieve the technical goals. The course organizers are Aaron Lefohn (Intel) and Mike Houston (AMD). Additional course speakers include Kayvon Fatahalian (Stanford), David Luebke (NVIDIA), Tom Forsyth (Intel), John Owens (UC Davis), Chas Boyd (Microsoft), Aaftab Munshi (Apple), Fabio Pellacini (Dartmouth), Jon Olick (Id Software), Matt Pharr (Intel), and Jeremy Shopf (AMD). (Complete course notes)
The Khronos™ Group today announced the ratification and public release of the OpenCL™ 1.0 specification, the first open, royalty-free standard for cross-platform, parallel programming of modern processors found in personal computers, servers and handheld/embedded devices. OpenCL (Open Computing Language) greatly improves speed and responsiveness for a wide spectrum of applications in numerous market categories from gaming and entertainment to scientific and medical software. Proposed six months ago as a draft specification by Apple, OpenCL has been developed and ratified by industry-leading companies including 3DLABS, Activision Blizzard, AMD, Apple, ARM, Barco, Broadcom, Codeplay, Electronic Arts, Ericsson, Freescale, HI, IBM, Intel Corporation, Imagination Technologies, Kestrel Institute, Motorola, Movidia, Nokia, NVIDIA, QNX, RapidMind, Samsung, Seaweed, TAKUMI, Texas Instruments and Umeå University. The OpenCL 1.0 specification and more details are available at http://www.khronos.org/opencl/
At Khronos “Developer University” today at SIGGRAPH Asia in Singapore, Khronos members publicly launched OpenCL 1.0 with a presentation of the specification and source code examples.
The new gDEBugger V4.4 adds in-depth analysis of OpenGL memory usage by tracking graphics memory allocated objects, their memory consumption and allocation call stacks. Also new in this version are graphics memory leak detection and the ability to break on them.
Using these new features will enable OpenGL and OpenGL ES developers to optimize their applications’ memory consumption and improve overall application performance.
gDEBugger, an OpenGL and OpenGL ES debugger and profiler, traces application activity on top of the OpenGL API, lets programmers see what is happening within the graphics system implementation to find bugs and optimize OpenGL application performance. gDEBugger runs on Windows and Linux operating systems. (Graphic Remedy Website)
At SC08, Aggregate.Org/University of Kentucky demonstrated open source technology for running arbitrary MIMD programs directly on GPUs. There are two environments for MOG, a simulator which interprets the MIMD code and a “Meta-State Converter” compilation system which does state space transformation of MIMD code into pure (SIMD) native GPU code. Applying the current version of either, MIMD C code using shared memory communication can do recursion, etc., while running on a CUDA GPU. Support for both C and Fortran, with both shared memory and MPI for communications, and support of both NVIDIA CUDA and ATI CAL targets, is planned. The work is very new, but detailed publications, performance benchmarks, and code releases are expected to start to appear by early next year. (MOG at SC08)
A launch event was held Monday night at Austin’s Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant in conjuntion with Supercomputing 2008, to celebrate the newly completed OpenCL specification. No live demos of OpenCL applications were shown because the OpenCL spec must first be ratified by by all members of the Khronos Group before it can be publicly released. Still, the fact that this group has completed the complex specification in less than six months is nothing less than amazing. Macworld has posted an article discussing the event including interviews with members of the OpenCL working group. More information about OpenCL is available at the Khronos Group Website.
From a press release:
World’s Most Powerful Global Computation Software Now GPU Accelerated
SC08—AUSTIN, TX—NOVEMBER 18, 2008—At SC08, Wolfram Research will demonstrate a new version of Mathematica, the world’s most powerful general computational software, that integrates CUDA®, NVIDIA’s parallel GPU computing architecture. This new version is expected to give Mathematica users an unprecedented performance increase of 10-100X in numerical computing, modeling, simulation and visual computations, without the need to learn or write C code.
“Since its initial release, Mathematica has been adopted by over 3 million professionals across the entire global technical computing community, and it has had a profound effect on how computers are used across many fields,” said Joy Costa, director of global partnerships at Wolfram Research. “The prospect of a hundred fold increase in Mathematica 7 performance is staggering. CUDA enabled Mathematica will revolutionize the world of numerical computation.”
“With Mathematica 7, researchers and scientists can easily tap the enormous parallel processing power of NVIDIA GPU’s through a familiar high level interface,” said Andy Keane, general manager of the GPU Computing business at NVIDIA. This is truly transformative, giving Mathematica users computational horsepower like never before and reducing computation time in some cases from days to a matter of minutes.”
The demonstration of the CUDA-accelerated release of Mathematica coincides with the launch of the NVIDIA® Tesla™ Personal Supercomputer at this year’s SC08. Priced in the range of traditional PC workstations, Tesla Personal Supercomputers are unrivalled in price and performance. Available in configurations of up to 4 Tesla GPUs in a single system, Tesla Personal Supercomputers deliver up to 4 Teraflops of computing performance from up to 960 parallel processing cores.
From a press release:
ATI Stream is a set of advanced hardware and software technologies that enable AMD graphics processors (GPU), working in concert with the system’s central processor (CPU), to accelerate many applications beyond just graphics. This enables better balanced platforms capable of running demanding computing tasks faster than ever*.
November 13 News Summary
- On December 10, AMD plans to release for download a free ATI Catalyst™ driver update that instantly unlocks new ATI Stream acceleration capabilities already built into millions of ATI Radeon™ graphics cards.
- ATI Stream-enabled software titles for entertainment, gaming and productivity are being released or are under development by a growing list of the world’s top independent software vendors (ISVs), including ArcSoft and CyberLink.
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CAL.NET is an effort to create a library to allow existing .NET applications access ATI/AMD GPU hardware for computational and graphical purposes. Programmers are able to manage the GPU hardware and execute kernels on it transparently. It is currently supported on Windows and Linux platforms with the latest drivers.
The latest release of CUDA.NET, 2.0.3, addresses issues with the previous release and adds many features including CUDA runtime API support and Direct3D/OpenGL interoperability. It is now possible to create hybrid applications with Tao and SlimDX, and an issue with copying vector data from device memory was fixed on Windows.
Source Code for the Floating Textures algorithm presented at the Eurographics 2008 conference is now made available at Sourceforge. Floating Textures (paper and video available here) are a novel multi-view, projective texture mapping technique. While many previous multi-view texturing approaches lead to blurring and ghosting artifacts if 3D geometry and/or camera calibration are imprecise, Floating Textures warp (“float”) projected textures during run-time to preserve crisp, detailed texture appearance. The GPU implementation achieves interactive to real-time frame rates. The method is very generally applicable and can be used in combination with many image-based rendering methods or projective texturing applications. By using Floating Textures in conjunction with, e.g., visual hull rendering, light field rendering, or free-viewpoint video, improved rendering results can be obtained from fewer input images, less accurately calibrated cameras, and coarser 3D geometry proxies.