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CUDA, What Is It and What Does It Mean To You?


Author:  Chris Swertfeger
Date:  2008.09.25
Topic:  Editorials
Provider:  Palit
Manufacturer:  Palit






CUDA, What Is It and What Does It Mean To You?

Jetart

Introduction:

CUDA or Compute Unified Device Architecture is the newest craze to pour out of Nvidia's doors. According to Nvidia's web site:

"NVIDIA CUDA™ technology is the world’s only C language environment that enables programmers and developers to write software to solve complex computational problems in a fraction of the time by tapping into the many-core parallel processing power of GPU's."

So what exactly does this mean and why should you even care about it? Lets find out...

Specifications:

CUDA is a set of development tools that enables programmers to run C code on the actual GPU of a graphics card. This has advantages over the traditional method of computing on the CPU, in that GPU's are geared towards massive parallel computing. This is useful in applications where you have to perform the same task over and over again on various sets of data. On multi-core systems you can only execute a few threads at a time. By comparison, CUDA enabled GPU's are capable of running thousands of threads simultaneously. But before you think about replacing your top of the line quad-core with a GPU, you should realize that GPU's only outperform CPU's in tasks that are geared towards massive multi-threading, and that majority of applications are geared more towards sequential processing.

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