Thursday, October 1, 2009

OpenCL As HPC Tool?

Programming supercomputers has traditionally been a narrow area of computing involving careful vectorization efforts targeted to specialized hardware.

With GPU makers like NVidia now specifically courting the high-performance computing market with OpenCL-capable HPC hardware, and Apple having open-sourced Grand Central Dispatch to aid on-the-fly parallelization, maybe programming high-performance machines will become a skill more commonly found in everyday programmers.

Whether Apple ends up using NVidia hardware for this kind of purpose, or leverages its own acquisitions to deliver Apple-satisfactory custom hardware, or takes advantage of the competitive pricing behavior of third-party OEMs, it seems that Apple's hardware-independent APIs have prepared it to compete in a world of potentially radically changing hardware.

Software really is Apple's durable competitive advantage.

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