Re: [R] Mathematica now working with Nvidia GPUs --> any plan for R?

From: Mose <mose.andre_at_gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 23:25:48 -0800

GPU architecture is different enough from CPU architecture that you don't need 10s of GPUs to see a performance benefit over today's, say, 8 core CPUs. Lots of GPUs now give you a (relatively cheap) "supercomputer" -- look up nVidia's Tesla marketing mumbo jumbo. One GPU still gives you a 'heckuva job'.

>From Wikipedia's GPU page, speaking on modern general purpose GPUs:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphics_processing_unit

"Typically the performance advantage is only obtained by running the single active program simultaneously on many example problems in parallel using the GPU's SIMD architecture[11]. However, substantial acceleration can also be obtained by not compiling the programs but instead transferring them to the GPU and interpreting them there[12]. Acceleration can then be obtained by either interpreting multiple programs simultaneously, simultaneously running multiple example problems, or combinations of both. A modern GPU (e.g. 8800 GTX) can readily simultaneously interpret hundreds of thousands of very small programs."

The first sentence, you can imagine, applies to some a lot of matrix work.

There are BLAS libraries for some GPUs (e.g. CUDA BLAS). You can probably imagine having R use it. Ahmed El Zein has a poster about his presentation "Performance Evaluation of the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX GPU for Machine Learning" that gives some more interesting info.

-Mose

On Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 10:56 PM, Prof Brian Ripley <ripley_at_stats.ox.ac.uk> wrote:
> On Tue, 18 Nov 2008, Emmanuel Levy wrote:
>
>> Dear All,
>>
>> I just read an announcement saying that Mathematica is launching a
>> version working with Nvidia GPUs. It is claimed that it'd make it
>> ~10-100x faster!
>>
http://www.physorg.com/news146247669.html
>
> Well, lots of things are 'claimed' in marketing (and Wolfram is not shy to
> claim). I think that you need lots of GPUs, as well as the right problem.
>
>> I was wondering if you are aware of any development going into this
>> direction with R?
>
> It seems so, as users have asked about using CUDA in R packages.
>
> Parallelization is not at all easy, but there is work on making R better
> able to use multi-core CPUs, which are expected to become far more common
> that tens of GPUs.
>
>> Thanks for sharing your thoughts,
>>
>> Best wishes,
>>
>> Emmanuel
>
> PS: R-devel is the list on which to discuss the development of R.
>
> --
> Brian D. Ripley, ripley_at_stats.ox.ac.uk
> Professor of Applied Statistics, http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
> University of Oxford, Tel: +44 1865 272861 (self)
> 1 South Parks Road, +44 1865 272866 (PA)
> Oxford OX1 3TG, UK Fax: +44 1865 272595
>
> ______________________________________________
> R-help_at_r-project.org mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>



R-help_at_r-project.org mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code. Received on Wed 19 Nov 2008 - 07:33:37 GMT

Archive maintained by Robert King, hosted by the discipline of statistics at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Archive generated by hypermail 2.2.0, at Wed 19 Nov 2008 - 10:30:26 GMT.

Mailing list information is available at https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help. Please read the posting guide before posting to the list.

list of date sections of archive