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Firms develop parallel programming standard

Posted: 17 Nov 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:parallel computing? programming standard? CPU? GPU?

Nvidia Corp, together with Cray Inc, the Portland Group (PGI) and CAPS Enterprise, has announced a new parallel-programming standard known as the OpenACC.

The companies joined together to develop the standard that aims to make it easier for scientific and technical programmers to take advantage of parallel computing and the transformative power of heterogeneous CPU/GPU computing systems.

OpenACC allows parallel programmers to provide simple hints, known as "directives," to the compiler, identifying which areas of code to accelerate, without requiring programmers to modify or adapt the underlying code itself. Directives provide a common code base that is multiplatform and multivendor compatible, offering an ideal way to preserve investment in legacy applications by enabling an easy migration path to accelerated computing. By exposing parallelism to the compiler, directives allow the compiler to do the detailed work of mapping the computation onto the accelerator.

The OpenACC standard is fully compatible and interoperable with the Nvidia Cuda parallel programming architecture, which is designed to allow detailed control over the accelerator for maximum performance tuning.

The standard targets a broad range of programmers working in chemistry, biology, physics, data analytics, weather and climate, intelligence and many other fields.

Existing compilers from Cray, PGI and CAPS are expected to provide initial support for the OpenACC standard beginning in the first quarter of 2012.

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