Research works on open source GPGPU




A research group from the University of Wisconsin has presented at the Hot Chips conference plans to create an open source GPGPU called Miaow. The GPGPU is based on the Southern Islands-isa of AMD.

One of the main reasons for developing Miaow is the idea which software simulations run on certain hardware often can not be adjusted well enough to get even more performance out of a simulation. The research group called Vertical Research Group believes that with the Miaow can develop a product that specific GPGPU – tasks are easier to perform because more direct access to the hardware can be offered.

The Thursday presented GPGPU is using a subset of AMD’s Southern Island- isa or Instruction Set. AMD uses this instruction to its own GPUs and can execute OpenCL code. The performance appears according to The Platform ‘impressive’ in comparison with existing GPU results.

Whether that will rapidly lead to its own chip production seems not yet an issue, especially since there is infringed on the intellectual property of different companies. That is, among other things due to the fact that the entire project is running on a variant of AMD’s ISA. Therefore Team Leader Karu Sankaralingam states that such open source hardware projects important to focus on innovation on top of the base used hardware. Until now, AMD is not involved in the project, outside of a few who ‘extra has provided insight into architectural elements.

If research shows that it is possible to deal with a small group of only five people on hardware design and only a few people on the design of the compiler, the layout and fpga within 36 months a functioning open source GPU implementation . The GPU can run unmodified OpenCL programs.

The Miaow GPU coprocessor can control up to 32 units. Each unit is linked via L2 cache with the memory controller, and the memory device is addressed. The host processor sends information to the GPU and a dispatcher. All of this is placed on a FPGA and so tested. There have been several drafts with Miaow design.


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