Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Software tool helps tap into the power of graphics processing

Date:
May 19, 2010
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Today's computers rely on powerful graphics processing units (GPUs) to create the spectacular graphics in video games. In fact, these GPUs are now more powerful than the traditional central processing units. As a result, computer developers are trying to tap into the power of these GPUs. Researchers have now developed software that make it easier for traditional software programs to take advantage of the powerful GPUs, increasing complex computing brainpower.

Today's computers rely on powerful graphics processing units (GPUs) to create the spectacular graphics in video games. In fact, these GPUs are now more powerful than the traditional central processing units (CPUs) -- or brains of the computer. As a result, computer developers are trying to tap into the power of these GPUs. Now a research team from North Carolina State University has developed software that could make it easier for traditional software programs to take advantage of the powerful GPUs, essentially increasing complex computing brainpower.

Related Articles


Taking advantage of a GPU's processing ability is a big deal, because of the amount of computing power a GPU contains. The CPU from an average computer has about 10 gigaflops of computing power -- or 10 billion operations per second. That sounds like a lot until you consider that the GPU from an average modern computer has 1 teraflop of computing power -- which is 1 trillion operations per second.

But using a GPU for general computing functions isn't easy. The actual architecture of the GPU itself is designed to process graphics, not other applications. Because GPUs focus on turning data into millions of pixels on a screen, the architecture is designed to have many operations taking place in isolation from each other. The operation telling one pixel what to do is separate from the operations telling other pixels what to do. This hardware design makes graphics processing more efficient, but presents a stumbling block for those who want to use GPUs for more complex computing processes.

A research team from NC state has developed software that could make it easier for traditional software programs to take advantage of GPUs. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation.

"We have developed a software tool that takes computer program A and translates it into computer program B -- which ultimately does the same thing program A does, but does it more efficiently on a GPU," says Dr. Huiyang Zhou, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the research. This sort of translation tool is called a compiler.

Program A, which is the user-provided input, is called a "naοve" version -- it doesn't consider GPU optimization, but focuses on providing a clear series of commands that tell the computer what to do. Zhou's compiler software takes the naοve version and translates it into a program that can effectively utilize the GPU's hardware so that the program operates a lot more quickly.

Zhou's research team tested a series of standard programs to determine whether programs translated by their compiler software actually operated more efficiently than code that had been manually optimized for GPU use by leading GPU developers. Their results showed that programs translated by their compiler software ran approximately 30 percent more quickly than those optimized by the GPU developers.

"Tapping into your GPU can turn your personal computer into a supercomputer," Zhou says.

The paper, "A GPGPU Compiler for Memory Optimization and Parallelism Management," was co-authored by Zhou, NC State Ph.D. student Yi Yang, and University of Central Florida Ph.D. students Ping Xiang and Jingfei Kong. The paper will be presented June 7 at the Programming Language Design and Implementation conference in Toronto.

NC State's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is part of the university's College of Engineering.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Software tool helps tap into the power of graphics processing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100517111908.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2010, May 19). Software tool helps tap into the power of graphics processing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100517111908.htm
North Carolina State University. "Software tool helps tap into the power of graphics processing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100517111908.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Redheads Call For Representation Among Apple Emojis

Redheads Call For Representation Among Apple Emojis

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) — Some redheads and their supporters are petitioning Apple to include a red-haired emoji. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Largest Gathering of Games Developers in San Francisco

Largest Gathering of Games Developers in San Francisco

AFP (Mar. 4, 2015) — The 2015 Games Developers Conference, the largest gathering of its kind, brings professionals from all over the world together in San Francisco to reflect on on the art and science of games creation. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
'FREAK' Attack Courtesy Of Age-Old Government Policies

'FREAK' Attack Courtesy Of Age-Old Government Policies

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) — "FREAK" attack allows hackers to gain access to your encrypted data. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Zipline Through the Amazon With Google Street View

Zipline Through the Amazon With Google Street View

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) — Google Street View lets you zip through trees in the Amazon Jungle. Well, as Gillian Pensavalle (@GillianWithaG) explains, as fast as your Internet speed will allow. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins