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GPU development tool works with MS Visual Studio

Posted: 26 Jul 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:graphics? software? GPU? development environment? parallel processing?

NVIDIA announces the release of its Parallel Nsight software, the industry's first development environment for GPU-accelerated applications that work with Microsoft Visual Studio.

The company has also released CUDA Toolkit 3.1, an update to its CUDA software development kit.

"With more than six million developers, Visual Studio is one of the world's most popular development environments for Windows-based applications and services," said Sanford Russell, general manager of GPU computing, NVIDIA. "By adding functionality specifically for GPU computing developers, Parallel Nsight makes the power of the GPU more accessible than ever before."

High performance computing developers in fields such as oil and gas, bioscience and finance, are increasingly tapping the massively parallel processing capabilities of GPUs and Windows HPC Server 2008 to achieve significant performance increases in their work. NVIDIA Parallel Nsight connects these worlds, providing the professional tools required to develop and deploy HPC cluster applications.

"Research shows that developers believe the most difficult tasks when developing parallel applications are debugging, performance tuning and designing parallel algorithms," said David Rich, director, technical computing at Microsoft Corp. "By integrating GPU computing into Visual Studio, NVIDIA's Parallel Nsight is transforming the way GPU-based parallel computing applications are developed for Windows."

Debugging CUDA

Visual Studio developers can now use Parallel Nsight to debug CUDA C/C++, or DirectCompute applications on the GPU using the same familiar tools and techniques as on the CPU. Parallel Nsight also provides the analysis tools that give developers the information required to achieve the highest levels of GPGPU application performance.

"NVIDIA Parallel Nsight has become our daily development tool when working with our CUDA-based applications such as SimHD and H.264 encoder," said George Tang, VP and general manager of the video and home entertainment group, ArcSoft. "The step-by-step breakpoint debugging on actual GPU hardware, as well as the performance analyzer, help to efficiently fine-tune our products, bringing the performance to the next level."

Parallel Nsight also represents the premier environment for graphics development, delivering the DirectX 11 tools required by graphics developers to quickly and efficiently develop today's top game titles and visual computing applications.

"DirectX 11 delivers the technology for game developers to create immersive worlds, dynamic characters and more realistic gameplay," said Anton Kaplanyan, lead researcher at Crytek. "Game developers are leveraging both the GPU and CPU to achieve these new levels of realism and Parallel Nsight is the first toolbox in the world that allows us to look under the hood of the GPU, and makes parallel debugging not only possible but pleasant, significantly accelerating DirectX 11 development."

Parallel Nsight provides several specific features for graphics developers. The Graphics Debugger allows developers to debug all HLSL graphics shaders directly on the GPU. The Graphics Inspector allows real-time examination of DirectX rendering calls and GPU pipeline state to craft optimal GPU code, and Pixel History shows all operations that affect a given pixel, helping developers to quickly identify rendering errors and to create optimal rendering code. In addition, Parallel Nsight Analyzer allows OpenGL developers to optimize applications by presenting OpenGL API trace information on a timeline correlated with other GPU and CPU events.

NVIDIA Parallel Nsight software supports Windows HPC Server 2008, Windows 7 and Windows Vista, which works closely with Visual Studio 2008 SP1 Professional edition.

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