bit-tech.net

AMD Betting Everything on OpenCL

Comments 1 to 25 of 33

Reply
jrs77 30th May 2011, 12:59 Quote
It depends largely on the software-engineers to write software that isn't x86-based/dependant, but seeing that most of the software today didn't even get transitioned to x64 I'd say that a change to GPGPU and OpenCL is wishful thinking for the next 10 years to come.

Hardware-capabilities have increased tremendously and they improve so fast as of today that software can't keep up with that speed. This is due to software being developed on current hardware available and software being developed for the majority of systems currently around.

So we need atleast to wait another five years, before the old hardware not capable of OpenCL, x64 etc isn't used anymore by the majority. Then we'll see new software being developed for those new hardware.
TheDarkSide 30th May 2011, 13:00 Quote
Thx for an excellent article! Give us the other side of the story now guys, please do a similar interview with representatives from nvidia!
Mentai 30th May 2011, 13:31 Quote
Good interview.

I don't think this will work out for them... although I hope it will.
Guinevere 30th May 2011, 14:26 Quote
Quote:
I'm not completely familiar with the ARM architecture and its performance

Oh dear!

Intel kick's AMD's arse.
ARM give's intel a good kicking in the mobile space.
AMD says "ARM who?"
Aracos 30th May 2011, 15:21 Quote
Quote:
what do you need to sell a console? You need some really good games – that's where we're at right now, so we have a very good SDK [software development kit], we've got very good hardware

Inb4 consoles all use old hardware :D
John_T 30th May 2011, 15:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Quote:
I'm not completely familiar with the ARM architecture and its performance

Oh dear!

Intel kick's AMD's arse.
ARM give's intel a good kicking in the mobile space.
AMD says "ARM who?"

I think you've probably read a bit too much into that myself. As stated in the article, Terry Makedon is AMD's manager of Fusion software marketing - I'd say it's simply not his job to be intimately knowledgeable of other CPU architectures.

I'd be willing to bet that most people who live outside of the Southern Hemisphere couldn't name Australia's Prime Minister or tell you how he's performing*, that doesn't mean they've never heard of Australia...


*He's a she actually, (Julia Gillard).
thehippoz 30th May 2011, 16:22 Quote
from what I've seen in just plain dictionary attacks.. an optimized ati card using opencl does kick cudas ass- think it's because they have more shaders than nvidia.. the thing is cuda has been courted and so you see things like folding totally dominated by nvidia

my opinion anyways.. I've seen like triple the performance, so maybe amd has something here- once optimized might put an end to cuda.. intel is going to have a fun time with 22nm parts
technogiant 30th May 2011, 16:22 Quote
I don't really see how AMD can hope to gain an individual advantage by pushing an "open" standard.

Intel will have DX11 capable Ivybridge by Q2 2012 and so directly compete in gpgpu applications against them. Of course how well they perform comparatively will be debatable.

Even Nvidia without a cpu will benefit with their desktop version of Optimus...is it Sync? I for one would quite happily run a sandybridge for lower power graphical tasks and have a large discrete Nvidia gpu basically turned off in the background just waiting to deliver its grunt for a gpgpu task....of course with the additional option of having more considerable grunt than any APU.

And further down the line Nvidia Denver project products will be gpgpu monsters which will completely blow away AMD's and Intels hybrid cpu/gpu offerings in terms of gpgpu.

AMD have a small window of opportunity over the next 9 months in the lower powered sector but sadly for them the software environment is not there now to support it.
ssj12 30th May 2011, 16:31 Quote
"Obviously, our products are going to be 32nm when we launch Llano, and we're going to be on an equal-footing from a technology perspective, but I think GlobalFoundries is working on a new technology process and making it better every day."

Not for nothing, but since everything I have seen from AMD comparing their best vs Intel's Core i5 Sandy Bridge, ignoring Ivy Bridge's future existence, it sounds like they are hoping that GlobalFoundries' tech is close enough to Intel's beastly i7s that they dont have to worry.
schmidtbag 30th May 2011, 16:45 Quote
i'm an amd fan but anyone else notice that they explicitly ignored the question regarding "what if opencl doesn't take off - will the cpu portion of the APUs be sufficient?". that doesn't make me feel too comfortable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by technogiant
I don't really see how AMD can hope to gain an individual advantage by pushing an "open" standard.

Intel will have DX11 capable Ivybridge by Q2 2012 and so directly compete in gpgpu applications against them. Of course how well they perform comparatively will be debatable.

Even Nvidia without a cpu will benefit with their desktop version of Optimus...is it Sync? I for one would quite happily run a sandybridge for lower power graphical tasks and have a large discrete Nvidia gpu basically turned off in the background just waiting to deliver its grunt for a gpgpu task....of course with the additional option of having more considerable grunt than any APU.

And further down the line Nvidia Denver project products will be gpgpu monsters which will completely blow away AMD's and Intels hybrid cpu/gpu offerings in terms of gpgpu.

AMD have a small window of opportunity over the next 9 months in the lower powered sector but sadly for them the software environment is not there now to support it.

as said in this interview, hardware has to be optimized for opengcl. like sure you could run some really old nvidia card on an opencl program made by amd and it will run better than just using a cpu by itself, but the point is that nvidia card won't have the optimizations. also, intel is being a huge contributor to opencl so its not like either company is losing anything - i'm sure both amd and intel realize that being proprietary about both software and hardware is going to backfire. cuda didn't get popular just because it was proprietary, it got unpopular because nvidia didn't even let you run another type of gpu. amd doesn't really give a crap if you're using someone else's product with theirs. i'm sure the way they see it is "give anyone the option to use our products and that will increase our chances of getting customers. as long as someone is using us for something, we're happy".
Malfrex 30th May 2011, 17:01 Quote
Personally I'm surprised people are not seeing the ties between the old school matchup between Microsoft - IBM. Bill Gates saw there was greater value in the software side of things than the selling of the hardware. IBM was wanting to OS basically to be there so people could use the hardware, which is what they were pushing while Gates saw the software as being the key to selling the hardware. Yes, Intel/AMD will not be making any royalties off of the software as its an open standard, however if their hardware supports it best it will sell better than nVidia's. Ignoring the infighting that occurred with the OpenGL group, OpenGL was a superior API over DirectX for the same reasons as OpenCL is superior to CUDA - it works across all OSes.
MSHunter 30th May 2011, 20:42 Quote
1)Well from this its obvious that AMD APU is weaker clock for clock then Sandybridge (with out OpenCL).
2)AMD better get OpenCL to work better then CUDA did for net books ION 1 is still very buggy. Flash plays and sometime just stutters as it decided midway through a video to us the CPU and not the GPU. If AMD get this OpenCL to work we still do not know if it will Beat or even match Sandy bridge as Intel will obviously also use the 3000 GPU on the sandy bridge chips to do the same.
3)Nvidia does CUDA well not only because of software but their Hardware design as well which is much more complex per Core then ATI. It will be very interesting to see how this pans out.

From the article it does sound like the the overall fastest system will be Intel/Nvida and sadly not AMD/AMD.
fluxtatic 30th May 2011, 21:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by technogiant

And further down the line Nvidia Denver project products will be gpgpu monsters which will completely blow away AMD's and Intels hybrid cpu/gpu offerings in terms of gpgpu.

True, but remember, this is ARM architecture. It might be a freaking monster...without directly competing against AMD/Intel. I was under the impression Nvidia was going for HPC applications with Denver, and that Tegra would continue to be their consumer-level hardware. If that's the case, it won't matter to the average citizen - it will only be running on hardware they'll never see. There could be some trickle-down knock-on to the consumer space, but not direct competition.

As to what AMD has going on now, I hope it pays off. It's been a sadly long time since they've been toe-to-toe with Intel.
ssj12 30th May 2011, 21:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malfrex
Personally I'm surprised people are not seeing the ties between the old school matchup between Microsoft - IBM. Bill Gates saw there was greater value in the software side of things than the selling of the hardware. IBM was wanting to OS basically to be there so people could use the hardware, which is what they were pushing while Gates saw the software as being the key to selling the hardware. Yes, Intel/AMD will not be making any royalties off of the software as its an open standard, however if their hardware supports it best it will sell better than nVidia's. Ignoring the infighting that occurred with the OpenGL group, OpenGL was a superior API over DirectX for the same reasons as OpenCL is superior to CUDA - it works across all OSes.

Isnt CUDA based of OpenCL.. and Nvidia talk up CUDA's ability to handle OpenCL applications.
Snips 30th May 2011, 21:29 Quote
How many times will AMD throw their Marketing BS to get you all talking about it but for them to disappear when the product is out and turns out to be a turd burger again? or then moan that all you reviewers are wrong and that their product is great anyway?

Give us independent benchtests or STFU AMD!

ps. How was buying ATi a gamble, when it's the only division turning a profit for the last 3 years? Making your losses seem not a great!
schmidtbag 30th May 2011, 22:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
How many times will AMD throw their Marketing BS to get you all talking about it but for them to disappear when the product is out and turns out to be a turd burger again? or then moan that all you reviewers are wrong and that their product is great anyway?

Give us independent benchtests or STFU AMD!

ps. How was buying ATi a gamble, when it's the only division turning a profit for the last 3 years? Making your losses seem not a great!

how many times are you going to moan and complain about every amd article ever released on this website regardless of what the topic is about? it was an interview about amd joining an OPEN SOURCE project that even intel and nvidia can take advantage of. the only comment amd made about their own products being superior is due to a question bit tech specifically asked, and its pretty obvious that a company is not going to say "o ya our product is very unlikely to compete with what is already out there" whether it is true or not. seriously, stop whining. this article isn't about competitive performance, it's about improving overall performance on any platform, but more specifically amd platforms.
jsheff 30th May 2011, 22:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by technogiant
I don't really see how AMD can hope to gain an individual advantage by pushing an "open" standard.

Intel will have DX11 capable Ivybridge by Q2 2012 and so directly compete in gpgpu applications against them. Of course how well they perform comparatively will be debatable.

I'm not quite so sure it has much to do with AMD gaining, rather AMD preventing themselves from falling behind. If AMD come out with their own proprietary solution when CUDA already has a comparatively large share in the GPGPU market, why would someone choose one over the other? However, if AMD support an open standard then they have greater opportunity to claw back market share.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malfrex
OpenGL was a superior API over DirectX for the same reasons as OpenCL is superior to CUDA - it works across all OSes

I think that open standards have greater footing these days, as other OSs become more widespread and accepted and companies seek to reduce costs. This will undoubtedly play into OpenCL's hands this time around after the eventual slowing-to-a-crawl that has been OpenGL support after DX9-11.
law99 30th May 2011, 22:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
how many times are you going to moan and complain about every amd article ever released on this website regardless of what the topic is about? it was an interview about amd joining an OPEN SOURCE project that even intel and nvidia can take advantage of. the only comment amd made about their own products being superior is due to a question bit tech specifically asked, and its pretty obvious that a company is not going to say "o ya our product is very unlikely to compete with what is already out there" whether it is true or not. seriously, stop whining. this article isn't about competitive performance, it's about improving overall performance on any platform, but more specifically amd platforms.

Indeed. In fact it seems out of place to be discussing Intel offerings in the cpu department other than because they are both in the same game ultimately.
Jampotp 30th May 2011, 23:24 Quote
APUs - Armoured Personnel Units :)
DbD 30th May 2011, 23:58 Quote
From what I can tell they are saying on one had they need opencl to take off to get the best of their cpu's but on the other they aren't actually going to do much to make it happen - that's down to the mythical "developers".

The reason that CUDA took off is because nvidia spent a lot of £££ actively developing it - CUDA is several years ahead of opencl both as a standard (i.e. basic instructions available), in the sdk (i.e. the secondary libraries needed to do interesting stuff), in the development environment (i.e. debuggers, etc) and in training/support.

That needs to happen for opencl too - if AMD just leave the "developers" too it then it'll take years and years. No one else is really pushing it - nvidia have cuda, Intel still want everyone to use x86, the rest of the world is more interested in tablets and ARM (e.g. MS). It simply won't happen. Even if AMD did push really hard it'll still take several years - far too late for llano or perhaps even it's successor.

It is quite telling that in the interview he basically said they are abandoning high end computing to CUDA. Currently that is the only market today where gpu compute is essential (all new super computers seem to now come with it) - it's also one of the highest profit markets too. It is also the source of much future innovation in normal PC's - what happens in super computers filters down to the rest of us. Why are they abandoning that? I can only assume because they really don't have a proper plan to attack the gpu compute market - just a few marketing guys and a lot of hope that it'll magically take off without any real work by AMD.
Kaihekoa 31st May 2011, 01:14 Quote
These guys are both blowing a bunch of marketing/PR smoke. They can't compete with Intel performance-wise. In the last few generations of processors all they've done is crank up the clock speed and sell units for a net loss. So they are toting this OpenCL as what's going to make them competitive again, but I doubt it will happen anytime soon. They cite examples of web browsers and flash using GPU acceleration, but that's not OpenCL. Most IE users are still using 6.0. Why? Because on average most computer users aren't knowledgeable about tech hardware or software. Now these same people are supposed to be the driving force of AMD's new OpenCL and GPU acceleration?

They need to get their R&D in a think tank and come up with a CPU architectures that will put them ahead of Intel without having to mask their inefficiencies with PR. This article having to go all the way back to the Pentium 4 for a time when this company was competitive is indicative of their present ability to succeed in the market. Nvidia's GPU programming language, CUDA, isn't going to disappear. Nvidia invested a lot of money to get development started, and now corporations and academia use it for supercomputer level projects. Nvidia's Tesla cards are better equipped for those tasks so they won't be throwing away all the money they invested for OpenCL anytime soon.

And before you go screaming fanboy, my desktop uses a Phenom II X4 and Radeon because they offered good performance at a low price, but even an AMD user has to acknowledge that their processors have been in Intel's wake since the Core architecture was developed. Ideally, it would be better for consumers if the disparity in performance per clock was evened with AMD's Bulldozer as it would keep Intel's prices down.
knownballer 31st May 2011, 02:01 Quote
Amd certainly is betting a lot on the standard, and though the PR guys didn't really say it, they really don't have much of a choice. Intel and Nividia both took a big advantage years ago by purchasing Havok and Ageis respectively (funny we don't hear much about Havok anymore...) and as the discussion moved towards using the gpu architecture as a processing platform, this really was the only option available.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DbD
From what I can tell they are saying on one had they need opencl to take off to get the best of their cpu's but on the other they aren't actually going to do much to make it happen - that's down to the mythical "developers".

The reason that CUDA took off is because nvidia spent a lot of £££ actively developing it - CUDA is several years ahead of opencl both as a standard (i.e. basic instructions available), in the sdk (i.e. the secondary libraries needed to do interesting stuff), in the development environment (i.e. debuggers, etc) and in training/support.

That needs to happen for opencl too - if AMD just leave the "developers" too it then it'll take years and years. No one else is really pushing it - nvidia have cuda, Intel still want everyone to use x86, the rest of the world is more interested in tablets and ARM (e.g. MS). It simply won't happen. Even if AMD did push really hard it'll still take several years - far too late for llano or perhaps even it's successor.

Indeed AMD needs to do this, but the simply don't have the resources to. Intel a few years ago gave my school 300 million for research on multi-cpu computing. Likewise Nvidia has much more room to investing in building CUDA while AMD struggled to get back in black.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaihekoa
These guys are both blowing a bunch of marketing/PR smoke. They can't compete with Intel performance-wise. In the last few generations of processors all they've done is crank up the clock speed and sell units for a net loss. So they are toting this OpenCL as what's going to make them competitive again, but I doubt it will happen anytime soon. They cite examples of web browsers and flash using GPU acceleration, but that's not OpenCL. Most IE users are still using 6.0. Why? Because on average most computer users aren't knowledgeable about tech hardware or software. Now these same people are supposed to be the driving force of AMD's new OpenCL and GPU acceleration?

They need to get their R&D in a think tank and come up with a CPU architectures that will put them ahead of Intel without having to mask their inefficiencies with PR.

I don't think you've been paying close attention:
http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/28/amd-ships-five-million-fusion-chips-says-its-sold-out/

Amd has been the main driver of the whole fusion ideology while Intel has been more concerned with pushing x86 into everything. I would also say that Amd has been the better chip architecture designer for the past decade but intel has been able to leverage their fabrication advantage, as well as a few dirty tactics to gain an advantage over Amd.

But your assertion of the consumer being key is precisely why though OpenCL is key for Amd's long term plans, they may not need the platform to be adopted to sell APUs. We're reaching a point where for consumers the cpus are "good enough" and the real key is gpus power. That's why bobcat has been so successful. And as time moves the OpenCL will be adopted. But the big problem is if that is the future, there is another company in Arm that is is a great position to expand in the mobile space.

I think the key a lot of people have been missing is that Amd's aim isn't just to add a GPU onto the Cpu chip like a SoC, but to integrate elements of the architecture onto the Cpu like many elements have been added to the Cpu over the years. But for this to work the Gpu part cant communicate the way is does now. I don't know the details but the Gpu just isn't seen by a computer in the same way a Cpu is and that is affecting how software is able to take advantage of their abilities. Just like multi-core computing, the key will be on the software side and how programmers will take advantage of the architecture. There's so many factors there's really no way of tell how things will turn out a few years from now. Who knows, maybe Arm might move to become THE architecture moving forward but right now I think Amd looks like the have the best vision moving forward.
PQuiff 31st May 2011, 10:42 Quote
Im not particulary bothered about OpenCL.

What i want from AMD is Hardware. I dont care if it will accelerate my IE, or excel. When i fire up battlefield 3 i want to know that my AMD CPU and GPU is faster than the equivalent Intel/Nvidia setup.

AMD. If your bulldozer CPU is slower than the intel one, i wont buy it. If your GPU is slower than the Nvidia one i wont buy it. I worried that AMD is playing catch up, rather than saying "let create hardware that will nuke our competitors" there planing for hardware to match there competitors. And by the time they release it its old hat.

Id say its all or nothing on OpenCL, but its all or nothing on your next hardware release to.
fingerbob69 31st May 2011, 11:00 Quote
Ask yourselfs who amougst the big movers and shakers use AMD/Ati gear in their devices and who could, therefore be a main driver of this?

Answer ....Apple.
blackerthanblack 31st May 2011, 14:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaihekoa
Most IE users are still using 6.0. Why? Because on average most computer users aren't knowledgeable about tech hardware or software. Now these same people are supposed to be the driving force of AMD's new OpenCL and GPU acceleration?

Not so. Most computers are on IE6 because of business. This is the lowest supported version by Microsoft - there's no point causing potential headaches upgrading hundreds of company PC's if it's not necessary.

This will soon be changing as I believe IE6 support is being removed. Expect most PC's to start using a newer version soon.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums