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Thread: Intel Looks To Be Working On Open-Source GPGPU

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    Default Intel Looks To Be Working On Open-Source GPGPU

    Phoronix: Intel Looks To Be Working On Open-Source GPGPU

    A mailing list message this morning raises the possibility that Intel's open-source graphics developers could soon be working on GPGPU/OpenCL support...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTA3Nzc

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    and, of course, they are going to do their own thing: incompatible with other F/OSS efforts and stuck in an interminable alpha-state.

    damn, i long for ARM's architecture-based hardware with AMD's or ARM's (with OSS'ed drivers) graphics so much... Intel's stuff just not cutting it in power-efficiency perspective and their GPUs are just a joke.
    AMD really should stop showing off with their in-CPU GPUs and standing alone by collaborating with ARM instead of just trying to compete with them.

    now there is the only real hope for Samsung & ARM to do it right and give us the platform where proper, [almost] fully F/OSS distribution is possible for all kinds of devices. with all the benefits it brings, like being actually reliable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfx. View Post
    and, of course, they are going to do their own thing: incompatible with other F/OSS efforts and stuck in an interminable alpha-state.

    damn, i long for ARM's architecture-based hardware with AMD's or ARM's (with OSS'ed drivers) graphics so much... Intel's stuff just not cutting it in power-efficiency perspective and their GPUs are just a joke.
    AMD really should stop showing off with their in-CPU GPUs and standing alone by collaborating with ARM instead of just trying to compete with them.

    now there is the only real hope for Samsung & ARM to do it right and give us the platform where proper, [almost] fully F/OSS distribution is possible for all kinds of devices. with all the benefits it brings, like being actually reliable.
    Nothing inherent in the x86 hardware is making the drivers inherently unstable. And similarly, nothing inherent in ARM hardware would make the drivers inherently stable. This seems to be a confused statement.

    Also, keep in mind that Samsung has never produced a chip for a "full fat" laptop or desktop (e.g. 15" laptops and larger). For people who want hardware that has some real oomph, and not just these toy platforms for Android, you basically want Intel for the CPU, and AMD for the graphics. So, while what you're saying may make some modicum of sense for mobile platforms, that's already where Samsung is, and where Intel and AMD aren't (upcoming Atom x86 smartphones notwithstanding). They're currently not competitors at all, because they manufacture for different design goals and form factors. Samsung is fine with cutting lots of corners (e.g. sacrificing graphics quality for performance) and they're focusing on extremely low-power, efficient chips for mobile phones and tablets. They simply don't have the technology available to them to compete in the desktop and server market with big-footprint PCs from Intel.

    Unless you've seen a Samsung chip that can outperform a Sandy Bridge Core i7 desktop chip, or an AMD HD7900 series "Tahiti" discrete GPU...

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    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    Nothing inherent in the x86 hardware is making the drivers inherently unstable. And similarly, nothing inherent in ARM hardware would make the drivers inherently stable. This seems to be a confused statement.
    and what the hell any of that have to do with drivers ?
    it's not x86 which makes shitty drivers, it's Intel and their NIH.

    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    ... They simply don't have the technology available to them to compete in the desktop and server market with big-footprint PCs from Intel.
    last time i checked, ARM servers were on rise.
    i'm pretty sure, that's because it's not that much about CPU power anymore, but good I/O for servers. moreover, power-efficiency is a big factor for data centres.

    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    Unless you've seen a Samsung chip that can outperform a Sandy Bridge Core i7 desktop chip, or an AMD HD7900 series "Tahiti" discrete GPU...
    maybe you have inexorable need in most powerful gear at all times, but i'd be perfectly happy with slim, low-power desktop, non-Nvidia Tegra3 analogue laptop/tablet and N900-like portable PC/phone.

    and that is so also for most people i provide IT support for.
    worst problem for them though is shitty x86 32bit-only Windows™-only software, that drags everything down.

    but ok, let's leave desktops alone (but no one will take away your power-eaters from you even if AMD, ARM and Samsung would start making nice low-power stuff either).
    can i have my non-x86 devices with fully F/OSS OS now, please ? because, Intel's Atoms are even worse joke than their GPUs. and i don't have much expectations for AMD's "low power" CPU efforts either.
    just give me your graphics on mobiles, damn it ! compete with Nvidia, not ARM !

    someone should bash the bastard manager, who sacrifices AMD's graphics market share for CPU market share, on the head. Nvidia doesn't have such concerns, that's why it's packing, while Intel & AMD produce more of useless shit (for mobile segment that is). unfortunately, Nvidia is F/OSS-unfriendly as they come. so, it's not an option.

    therefore, we are fucked, while fat-ass CEOs attend their pissing contests instead of delivering tech that matters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfx. View Post
    and what the hell any of that have to do with drivers ?
    it's not x86 which makes shitty drivers, it's Intel and their NIH.



    last time i checked, ARM servers were on rise.
    i'm pretty sure, that's because it's not that much about CPU power anymore, but good I/O for servers. moreover, power-efficiency is a big factor for data centres.



    maybe you have inexorable need in most powerful gear at all times, but i'd be perfectly happy with slim, low-power desktop, non-Nvidia Tegra3 analogue laptop/tablet and N900-like portable PC/phone.

    and that is so also for most people i provide IT support for.
    worst problem for them though is shitty x86 32bit-only Windows™-only software, that drags everything down.

    but ok, let's leave desktops alone (but no one will take away your power-eaters from you even if AMD, ARM and Samsung would start making nice low-power stuff either).
    can i have my non-x86 devices with fully F/OSS OS now, please ? because, Intel's Atoms are even worse joke than their GPUs. and i don't have much expectations for AMD's "low power" CPU efforts either.
    just give me your graphics on mobiles, damn it ! compete with Nvidia, not ARM !

    someone should bash the bastard manager, who sacrifices AMD's graphics market share for CPU market share, on the head. Nvidia doesn't have such concerns, that's why it's packing, while Intel & AMD produce more of useless shit (for mobile segment that is). unfortunately, Nvidia is F/OSS-unfriendly as they come. so, it's not an option.

    therefore, we are fucked, while fat-ass CEOs attend their pissing contests instead of delivering tech that matters.
    It's a fair bet that, yes, no one is going to "take my power-eaters away from me". If you look at the raw power of desktop CPUs/GPUs (or their slightly slimmed down laptop equivalents), you'll see that mobile doesn't even come close. But that is expected; it's really no surprise: the mobile chips have less physical area available to them; they have MUCH less power available to them; they are often fabricated on a (cheaper) larger silicon process, meaning you have bigger problems with leakage; and 9 times out of 10, active cooling e.g. fans or water cooling is simply not an option, so it has to be low enough heat output that passive cooling is enough.

    There are legitimate workloads, both in leisure and professional activity, which could not efficiently perform their tasks on such a system.

    But you sound like you're not anti-desktop hardware, so long as there becomes an option to have desktop/laptop systems that run on low power ARM hardware.

    That's fair, and I think it might be possible (check out the Raspberry Pi for instance). Also, don't doubt that AMD will eventually come out with a chip containing an ARM CPU and a Radeon graphics core I heard that their new CEO is actually enthusiastic about doing something like this, as soon as they can find a partner(s) to ship it on a real device (they need this partner to pay them money up-front so they can do the R&D work and make it work). Granted, whatever solution they come up with will probably not be any faster than their x86 integrated graphics such as the upcoming Trinity APU; but I think Trinity is supposed to be even faster than Ivy Bridge, so that might be interesting. The only downside of such a chip is that, IMHO, you wouldn't be able to use it for any real work because the low-power ARM CPU would be a bit slow compared to what you're used to having if you use Intel chips (even if you use low-end ones). Intel did a benchmark comparing Atom to the premiere ARM dual-core and quad-core chips, and a dual-core Atom absolutely blew them all away. I'll look for the link if you want, but I think it was the "Valley View" platform that they benchmarked. It was on Phoronix just a few days ago!

    I just think that, generally speaking, desktop software is designed to run on desktops, where you often have much more RAM/CPU/GPU/disk throughput than you would on a device of a mobile form factor. The reason that Android devices are so fast is that they're very heavily optimized so that all of the software can run efficiently in that restricted environment with roughly 25% of the compute power of a mid-range desktop, and 1/4 the RAM (1GB RAM in a smartphone or tablet is considered high-end these days, and 4GB in a desktop is considered low-end). It's not that desktop software is unoptimized; it's just more flexible and featureful. For instance, right now my system is using 3.6 GB of mapped memory (minus buffers and cache) with KDE 4.8, Rhythmbox, a few Chrome tabs, a console, Skype, and Eclipse running. That's almost 4 times more RAM than is available on the beefiest ARM devices I've seen available, and I haven't even tried starting up a game, or a compute job, or a simulation, or a LibreOffice application.

    Have you seen the office applications for Android? They're a joke. Either you can't edit your document AT ALL, or if you can, the edits available are extremely simple -- usually limited just to plain text, with maybe bold/italics/underline and font size. But you couldn't construct something like a robust document with tables and headers and graphs with a native Android app that exists today. On a desktop, no problem; use LibreOffice.

    Same with audio apps. Ever see a full-featured DAW for Android? I haven't. Those things chew through resources like nobody's business. Video editors, don't even get me started. We need resource-intensive systems for these tasks, unless we want to wait 10 years until we have commodity ARM tablets being released with Tegra 10 which has the same processing power as a mid-level HD6000 discrete GPU paired with a Nehalem Core i7. But I guarantee you it will be a decade before ARM gets there.
    Last edited by allquixotic; 03-28-2012 at 07:49 AM.

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    is there any other architecture (and someone backing it obviously) that can compete in the general desktop market potentially

    lets assume that software is not a problem

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    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    It's a fair bet that, yes, no one is going to "take my power-eaters away from me". If you look at the raw power of desktop CPUs/GPUs (or their slightly slimmed down laptop equivalents), you'll see that mobile doesn't even come close. But that is expected; it's really no surprise: the mobile chips have less physical area available to them; they have MUCH less power available to them
    i damn counting on that one !
    i prefer power-efficiency and bearable latencies to raw power in an abundance of that power. and i think that ARM systems coming to a level where they start having enough power for most or all mundane tasks.
    and high power demands, on the contrary, starting to become a niche.

    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    There are legitimate workloads, both in leisure and professional activity, which could not efficiently perform their tasks on such a system.

    But you sound like you're not anti-desktop hardware, so long as there becomes an option to have desktop/laptop systems that run on low power ARM hardware.
    okaaaay, but who's arguing with that ?

    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    The only downside of such a chip is that, IMHO, you wouldn't be able to use it for any real work because the low-power ARM CPU would be a bit slow compared to what you're used to having if you use Intel chips (even if you use low-end ones).
    all are obvious points, but what the hell are you ranting about overall ?
    it's not like AMD's graphics division's collaboration with another CPU/chipset-makers will kill off x86 market completely and everyone on it. and if it would, only because it somehow eventually surpassed it on all levels, which would be a good thing.

    not all "real work", as you say, in the world demands running audio & video editors, IDEs or 50 tabs in a browser, hopefully.

    damn, most of my clients have rigs slower than mine, and mine is quite an old piece of shit of Athlon 64 X2 6000+ with _2GB DDR2_ and Radeon HD4730.
    and they are fine with that, even if they got money for upgrades, while doing many of their work on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    Intel did a benchmark comparing Atom to the premiere ARM dual-core and quad-core chips, and a dual-core Atom absolutely blew them all away. I'll look for the link if you want, but I think it was the "Valley View" platform that they benchmarked. It was on Phoronix just a few days ago!
    you mean that system that prioritizes power-consumption over raw computing performance wasn't better in computing performance ? well, good.

    if someone going to make penis size and sex stamina contest among porn stars and random guys, no doubt porn start most likely win. but random guys most likely are not going to relentlessly screw their women 6 hours a day.

    the thing is: Atoms and AMD's analogues of them are not so much power-efficient competitor to ARMs, but are butchered, slowed-down versions of faster gear.
    they seem pretty pathetic on both scales.

    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    Have you seen the office applications for Android? They're a joke. Either you can't edit your document AT ALL, or if you can, the edits available are extremely simple -- usually limited just to plain text, with maybe bold/italics/underline and font size. But you couldn't construct something like a robust document with tables and headers and graphs with a native Android app that exists today. On a desktop, no problem; use LibreOffice.
    they suck, together with Android. that's why i long for proper F/OSS mobile OS so much.
    BUT there are plans to port LibreOffice on Android, by the way

    and let's all hope that MeeGo's legacy lives on.

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