A new workshop called AstroGPU 2007: General Purpose Computation on GPUs in Astronomy and Astrophysics will be held November 9-10th, 2007 at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. The goal of this workshop is to explore and discuss the applicability of GPUs to astrophysical problems. It will bring together astrophysicists, colleagues from other areas of science where GPGPU techniques have been successfully applied, and representatives from the industry who will demonstrate in tutorial sessions the GPU hardware, programming tools, and GPGPU techniques. This workshop is geared towards astrophysicists wishing to learn GPGPU (specifically, CUDA) techniques and port their code to GPUs. For more information, see http://www.astrogpu.org.
I3D 2008 (aka the Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games) will be happening the weekend before GDC this year, February 15-17, in nearby Redwood City, CA. The Call For Participation is now up at the website: October 22 is this year’s paper deadline. This is a small conference, 100 attendees or so, that offers a good opportunity to meet other people working on GPU related techniques. I3D 2007 included a number of GPGPU-related papers on interactive ray tracing, mesh simplification, and histogram generation; see Ke-Sen Huang’s summary page. (CFP I3D 2008 page)
The trend of multicore processors development brings a shift of paradigm in applications development. Traditionally, increasing clock frequency is one of the main dimensions for conventional processors to achieve higher performance gains. Application developers used to improve performance of their applications by just waiting for faster processor platforms. Today, increasing clock frequency has reached a point of diminishing returnsâ€”and even negative returns if power is taken into account. Multicore processors, also known as Chip multiprocessors (CMPs), promise a power-efficiency way to increase performance and become more prevalent in vendors’ solutions, for example, IBM CELL Broadband Engine processors, Intel Core 2 Dual processors, and so on. However, the application or algorithm development process must be significantly changed in order to fully explore the potential of multicore processors. This special issue of the Journal of VLSI Signal Processing Systems is to discuss related challenges, issues, case studies, and solutions, especially focusing on multimedia-related applications, architectures, and programming environments, for example, understanding the complexity of developing a new application or porting an existing application onto a multicore processor. (Call for papers)
This paper by Banterle and Giacobazzi at UniversitÃ degli Studi di Verona presents an efficient implementation of the Octagon Abstract Domain (OAD) on graphics hardware. OAD is a relational numerical abstract domain which approximates invariants as conjunctions of constraints of the form +/- x +/- y <= c, where x and y are program variables and c is a constant which can be an integer, rational or real. OAD has been used with success in the aerospace industry for analyzing C programs such as the flight control software for the Airbus A340 fly-by-wire system. ( A Fast Implementation of the Octagon Abstract Domain on Graphics Hardware. Francesco Banterle and Roberto Giacobazzi. Proceeding of The 14th International Static Analysis Symposium (SAS). 2007)
This paper outlines how GPGPU techniques can be used for Monte Carlo simulations of quantum field theories such as QCD. The speedup is around a factor of 4-10 depending on the GPU model relative to SSE optimized code on a Pentium 4. Sample code is also given. (Lattice QCD as a video game)
According to an article on Extremetech.com , French company GPU-Tech has announced Ecolib, a series of C++ libraries for GPGPU which target both ATI and NVIDIA GPUs. A PDF describing the API is available. Their download page includes demo software with code samples and workstation CPU/GPU benchmarking tools.
This technical report by N. Cuntz, R. Strzodka and A. Kolb describes a particle level set (PLS) system for fast and accurate surface tracking on the GPU. The technique demonstrates the coupling of grid and particle information by using vertex/fragment buffer objects, shaders and blending functionality in an innovative way. Improvements over the original PLS technique include a sub-voxel interface representation and a more accurate level set correction using more precise particle radii. As a concrete application the authors demonstrate that their fast and accurate PLS is well suited to the visualization of dynamic flows. An accurate evolution of time surfaces and representation of path volumes offer a more reliable basis for data interpretation. (Real-Time Particle Level Sets with Application to Flow Visualization. Technical report, 2007)
From the Evolved Machines Website:
“We simulate neuronal components closely modeled after neurons in the brain, and synthesize arrays which wire themselves by simulating neural circuit growth in three dimensions. We are the first company to harness the power of programmable GPUs for the simulation of neural computation, now achieving 100-fold acceleration of the computing power of conventional cores. We are also designing the first generation of devices truly based on brain circuitry, pioneering the fusion of neuroscience and engineering to develop new categories of machines which embed some of the capacities of biological neural systems.”
This paper by Robert et al. at the University of Bern, Switzerland describes the object intersection buffer (OIB), a GPU-based visibility preprocessing algorithm for accelerating ray tracing. Based on this approach, a hybrid ray tracer is proposed to exploit parallel ray tracing using the GPU and CPU. (Hybrid Ray Tracing – Ray Tracing Using GPU-Accelerated Image-Space Methods. Philippe C.D. Robert, Severin Schoepke, and Hanspeter Bieri. Proceedings of GRAPP 2007.)
Radio wave propagation predictions are of great interest for cellular radio networks. Ray tracing approaches are an established technique for wave propagation, however, such approaches need to be extended to include diffraction, which is a predominant effect for common mobile radio frequencies. We demonstrate how to exploit the GPU to accelerate wave propagation predictions by orders of magnitude, making them available at interactive frame rates. The paper presents a GPU implementation of our diffraction technique. The presented technique can be easily extended to also simulate the diffraction of water waves by obstacles in complex three dimensional scenarios in a physically correct manner. (Fast Edge-Diffraction-Based Radio Wave Propagation Model for Graphics Hardware. Tobias Rick, Rudolf Mathar, Proceedings of ITG INICA 2007)