Sunday, 26 June 2011


Been pretty lazy this week - I seemed to spend too much time reading a few sites I frequent from time to time, mostly about the GFC and some of the local political-media clown-show (they are no longer separate entities). But the picture they paint of the world is pretty bleak so it's really all just a bit of a downer; although i'm not sure if it's just the reading that gets me down or feeling a bit flat in the first place that tends to drive me toward reading it.

So no spare-time hacking this week. I did however prune back the golden rain tree in the back yard yesterday - and given we had a couple of days of sunlight I even got a little red in the face. Always nice to get some sunshine in the middle of winter even when such days are few and far between. I also made that lime cordial last week.

For work i'm hitting some big performance problems on the target platform - partly because I think the customer has some unrealistic expectations, and partly because I didn't do enough research at the time on card performance, or they just weren't up to scratch. Oh well. I presume it's something to do with the EOFY purchase dash as well but buying new hardware has come up as a possible solution. Fortunately things have moved a bit since then so at least buying new hardware should be a big help although it wont solve everything.

I'm also pushing for AMD hardware this time - although the Nvidia hardware has been ok as far as that goes, they've obviously given up on OpenCL (no released 1.1 driver, and their opencl 'zone' hasn't changed in a year) and it doesn't seem like a company that wants my money or deserves any support (even the forums are pretty quiet so it seems i'm not alone - we all get the hint). Expanding ones experience and educating yourself about the alternatives is always a good thing too.

By coincidence AMD just had some marketing event about their heterogeneous computing plans, and Anandtech has a really interesting article on where AMD are going with their GPU/CPU architecture. Looks quite promising, although i'd really like to see a bump in local-store size. Although there is certainly enough there to be useful it is still a bottleneck, and with even more parallelism possible due to the design, the limited global bandwidth will only become more of a bottleneck.

Pity it's still a way off, because a change in architecture of that magnitude will require a different approach for performance, although in general it looks like it will be easier and it will also map well to OpenCL.

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