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Microsoft Demos C++ AMP At AMD Developers Summit 187

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-a-look-at-this dept.
MojoKid writes "The second day of the AMD Fusion Developer Summit began with a keynote from Microsoft's Herb Sutter, Principal Architect, Native Languages and resident C++ guru. The gist of Herb's talk centered around heterogeneous computing and the changes coming with future versions of Visual Studio and C++. One of the main highlights of the talk was a demo of a C++ AMP application that seamlessly took advantage of all of the compute resources within a few of the various demo systems, from workstations to netbooks. The physics demo seamlessly switched from using CPU, integrated GPU, and discrete GPU resources, showcasing the performance capabilities of each. As additional bodies are added, workload increases with a ramp-up to over 600 of GFLops in compute performance."
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Microsoft Demos C++ AMP At AMD Developers Summit

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  • AMP? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c0lo (1497653) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @10:28PM (#36458316)
    Gosh, I came hate this acronymia that so endemic in IT.

    In this context, AMP doesn't stand for amplifier, Adenosine monophosphate or Ampere, but for "Accelerated Massive Parallelism". Seems like a microsoftism for the more traditional term of "Massive Parallel Processing"

    • Re:AMP? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Alex Belits (437) * on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @10:36PM (#36458358) Homepage

      Microsoft has a history of inventing names and acronyms that collide with established terms in unrelated areas. I suspect, they are trying to get potential users to see a new name as something they have heard but know nothing about its actual meaning, so term looks "established" in those people's eyes.

      For example, ".Net".

      • I have to imagine that was also behind XP.

      • by c0lo (1497653)

        For example, ".Net".

        This time, it wasn't them to start. To begin with, the "Microsoft Project Plan" was theirs long before the "Massive Parallel Processing" came into the picture.
        (did I mention that I hate acronyms? Yes, I did... Oh, well, SNAFU... I'm still FUBAR)

        </lame_joke>

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by phantomfive (622387)
        The worst part is when Microsofties try to get you to accept the term as something real, and that it makes Microsoft better. Example:

        Microsoftie: isn't Microsoft great? They have managed code and no one else does.
        Me: Isn't Java the same?
        Microsoftie: No, that's a virtual machine, that's different!
        Me: ..........
    • I thought it MS's answer to LAMP: Apache, MySQL, PHP but on Windows.
    • Haven't you heard of AFT? Acronyms for techies?
      • by c0lo (1497653)

        Haven't you heard of AFT? Acronyms for techies?

        Nope. Only "GNU's not Unix" ;)

    • by jsac (71558)

      Because "CUDA" and "GPGPU" are such obvious bits of terminology ... ?

    • by caywen (942955)

      I think picking on the acronym is a nice way to sidestep talking about Microsoft actually doing something cool.

      • by c0lo (1497653)

        I think picking on the acronym is a nice way to sidestep talking about Microsoft actually doing something cool.

        Sidestepping? Maybe... but I still hate acronyms.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        Yes, but I think the relevant question is: how precisely is it that they kill this one. They have a history of devising cool technology and then managing to fuck it up.

    • Re:AMP? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @01:31AM (#36459188) Homepage

      How hard is it to write "AMP (Accelerated Massive Parallelism)" in a summary?

    • by Inda (580031)
      It's the same in engineering, except they borrow acronyms from the IT world and change their meaning.

      I've just finished editing the final draft of a report. One acronym was "DM", which I assume means "document manager" but now says, thanks to find and replace, dungeon master. Who will notice?
    • by daem0n1x (748565)
      Lots of people I know think SQL is a Microsoft product, because of Microsoft SQL Server.
  • by gupg (58086) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @12:37AM (#36458966) Homepage
    This is an awesome development - Microsoft adding support for GPU computing in their mainstream tools and C++.

    Today, CUDA C++ already provides a full C++ implementation on NVIDIA's GPUs:
    http://developer.nvidia.com/cuda-downloads [nvidia.com]

    And the Thrust template library provides a set of data structures and functions for GPUs (similar in spirit to STL):
    http://code.google.com/p/thrust/ [google.com]

    - biased NVIDIA employee
    • by Suiggy (1544213)

      Hey, any word on getting a new OpenCL 1.1 driver released? I know about the one you folks released last year to registered developers, but it's broken and only works with older GPU drivers. Any hope for OpenCL 1.1 in an upcoming CUDA 4.1 SDK?

    • by drewm1980 (902779)

      I am a CUDA C++ programmer. My biggest complaint about programming tools for the GPU is that there are no dense linear algebra libraries that work at the SM level. For my application I had to re-implement a big chunk of BLAS and part of LAPACK from scratch so that each SM runs a different problem instance. On the CPU you can just use openmp + single threaded BLAS to achieve the same granularity of parallelism. Thrust API does not address this granularity of parallelism. I'm eager to see if the AMP API d

  • I can see this pushing new hardware. More developers start writing with C++AMP, because it lowers the bar of entry for writing code that makes use of the GPU, and before we know it every little application will have some C++AMP. But, a lot of older computers which don't have DirectX 11 graphic cards have to emulate the DirectX DirectCompute API on the CPU, which is noticably glacial. People see an application run blazingly fast on one computer, see it slow on theirs and ask why it's so slow on theirs. Eithe
    • by Suiggy (1544213) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @01:14AM (#36459112)

      [quote]But, a lot of older computers which don't have DirectX 11 graphic cards have to emulate the DirectX DirectCompute API on the CPU[/quote].

      They don't really have to emulate anything, most of the kernel (as in "compute kernel") functions and operations in DirectCompute have a one-to-one mapping with most CPU's SIMD instruction sets, such as x86's SSE/AVX. The primary difference then is that on the CPU you have a lot less cores, and on the GPU you may have thousands of cores/streaming processors, but you have higher memory latencies and at best only a L1 & L2 cache.

  • Instead of contributing to open efforts regarding MP, they go on and do their own API. And a few years down the road, where everyone else uses the open API, they will let down their developers by supporting the open API, since it will no longer be viable economically to use their own API any more (like Silverlight/.NET in Windows 8).

    Microsoft, when will you learn your lesson? instead of locking us in, why don't you contribute to the efforts of the community to solve the same problem?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don t think there are open affords which are attempting to do this by extending C++ compiler.

      Open affords(clearly exclude CUDA) are usually inventing a new language (usually a subset of C). With much restricted language features, and is loosely integrated with host code.

      I think they are the first and they are doing the right things here.
      It is nice to have the host code tightly integrated to the GPU code, and with most of the useful C++ language features there.

  • by loufoque (1400831) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @06:31AM (#36460672)

    There are already tons of such tools, most of which are not tied to specific architectures, operating systems, or compilers.

    Really, why would you go Microsoft on this at all? Clusters and supercomputers usually don't even run Windows at all.

  • Based on the code example, it simply looks like they extended cl to include (a form of) nvcc syntax.

    I was hoping they meant a recompile of exiting code would leverage these resources.

    If I want to port all my stuff to CUDA or OpenCL I will do so, and I don't need to lock myself into MS's platform and syntax.

  • I did RTFM and WTV and caught something most didn't. This is going to be included in the next version of Direct X and looks to be part of Windows 8. Is it any wonder that MS demo'd their latest version of DX on new hardware? Not to me. This doesn't discount the performance level's possible on the new CPU/APU designs both AMD and Intel are pursuing and if MS can include the new DX in Win8-ARM, we should be seeing some damn interesting capabilities in the next couple of years

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky

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