Exhibiting here at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference is a Cambridge-based company called tidepowerd, whose product GPU.NET brings GPU programming to .NET developers. The product includes both a compiler and a runtime engine, and one of the advantages of this hybrid approach is that your code will run anywhere. It will use both NVIDIA and AMD GPUs, if they support GPU programming, or fall back to the CPU if neither is available. From the samples I saw, it also looks easier than coding CUDA C or OpenCL; just add an attribute to have a function run on the GPU rather than the CPU. Of course underlying issues remain – the GPU is still isolated and cannot access global variables available to the rest of your application – but the Visual Studio tools try to warn of any such issues at compile time.
GPU.NET is in development and will go into public beta “by October 31st 2010” – head to the web site for more details.
I am not sure what sort of performance or other compromises GPU.NET introduces, but it strikes me that this kind of tool is needed to make GPU programming accessible to a wider range of developers.
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