Predictions for 2009

By Doug Schaefer

I’m not usually one to make predictions. It’s hard for me to tell the difference between a prediction and wishful thinking. But this article over at the Inquirer
(still the best place to get an honest take on the industry along with
/.) got me thinking about a couple of things I think are going to be
important in 2009. So here we go…

2009: The Year of the GPGPU

This
is more a continuation of a trend but the Inq article made some great
points that I think will put some spotlight on general purpose
programming with GPUs. The key one, is the recent standardization of a
cross platform way of programming these things, OpenCL.
ATI and nVidia have already signed up to provide OpenCL support for
their chips and look for Intel’s Larrabee platform to come with the
same. I think there is still some software and hardware architectural
things that need to be done to make GPGPU more efficient and easier to
program. Look for LLVM (which needs an article on it’s own) to play a role, as it already is with OpenGL, and look for one of the chip vendors to put a GPU on the memory bus shared with the CPU and make these things sing.

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