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Mar 28, 2012

AMD Working Hard on a Compiler That Uses Their GPUs for Computing

In an effort to prove the public that their 2006 bet baptized Fusion was a winning one, AMD has its software developers working hard on compilers that make use of the company’s GPUs.

The guys at Phoronix reported that, in a mail dated 26th of March 2012, Tom Stellard of AMD had asked the LLVM developers to include the R600 GPU back-end into the LLVM project, which is the code for generating compute and graphics shaders inside the LLVM compiler infrastructure for use in GPU families from Radeon HD 2000 through the HD 6000 series.

Without going into specifics, this shows that AMD is still working on their Radeon Gallium3D driver in order to enable their cards to do more GPGPU tasks faster.

The interesting thing is that they haven’t abandoned their R600 generation cards and, while also working on a Radeon HD 7000 version of the LLVM back-end for the Graphics Core Next architecture, they are also trying to put all the computing power from the HD 2000 to HD 6000 series to good use.

If this initiative has a practical and tangible result in the future, those that went AMD/ATi instead of NVIDIA will rejoice, although, considering the changes in AMD’s architecture from VLIW 5 to VLIW 4, the benefits will likely vary.

Good compilers are very hard to develop and, today, only Intel can brag with a compiler and some software that puts their iGPUs to use and get significant results. I’m talking, of course, about Intel Quick Sync.

AMD also has some GPGPU support from some video editing and conversion tools from Cyberlink and others, but those are mainly for AMD’s discrete GPUs and don’t show much improvement when it comes to using the Fusion family.


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