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Encyclopedia > Close to Metal

Close To Metal ("CTM" in short, originally called Close-to-the-Metal, or previously "Data Parallel Virtual Machine" and "DPVM" in research state) is an open thin hardware interface developed by ATI for use in Stream Processor products under the AMD brand, aimed to increase processing performance of emerging GPGPU technologies for stream processing applications by as much as eight times more than traditional 3D application programming interfaces (API) [1]. CTM gives developers unfettered access to the native instruction set and memory of the massively parallel computational elements in AMD Stream Processors, and its Radeon series of GPUs. Using CTM, stream processors effectively become powerful, programmable open architectures like today’s central processing units (CPUs). By opening up the architecture, CTM provides developers with the low-level, deterministic, and repeatable access to hardware that is necessary API to develop essential high-level programming tools such as compilers, debuggers, math libraries, and application platforms [1]. CTM (Close To Metal) is AMD/ATIs new fully open thin hardware interface developed to increase processing performance of emerging GPGPU stream computing applications by as much as eightfold more than traditional 3D application programming interfaces (APIs). ... The current version of the article or section is written like a magazine article instead of the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia. ... AMD headquarters in Sunnyvale Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. ... General-purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPGPU, also referred to as GPGP and to a lesser extent GP²) is a recent trend in computer science that uses the graphics processing unit to perform the computations rather than the central processing unit (CPU). ... It has been suggested that GPGPU be merged into this article or section. ... An application programming interface (API) is a source code interface that a computer system or program library provides to support requests for services to be made of it by a Length. ... Parallel computing is the simultaneous execution of the same task (split up and specially adapted) on multiple processors in order to obtain results faster. ... It has been suggested that GPGPU be merged into this article or section. ... ATi Radeon is a brand of graphics processing units (GPU) that has been manufactured by ATi Technologies since 2000 and the successor to their Rage line. ... GPU may stand for: Graphics processing unit, a special stream processor used in computer graphics hardware Gosudarstvennoye Politicheskoye Upravlenie (Главное Политическое Управление, or Main Political Directorate) of the Red Army, responsible for troops morale and propaganda. ... CPU can stand for: in computing: Central processing unit in journalism: Commonwealth Press Union in law enforcement: Crime prevention unit in software: Critical patch update, a type of software patch distributed by Oracle Corporation in Macleans College is often known as Ash Lim. ... API may refer to: In computing, application programming interface In petroleum industry, American Petroleum Institute In education, Academic Performance Index This page concerning a three-letter acronym or abbreviation is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... A compiler is a computer program that translates a computer program written in one computer language (called the source language) into an equivalent program written in another computer language (called the output or the target language). ... A debugger is a computer program that is used to debug (and sometimes test or optimize) other programs. ... Illustration of an application which may use libvorbisfile. ...

Contents

Hardware

The Radeon series graphics processors had seen ATI introduce the concept of GPUs as 32-bit single precision floating point vector processors, also using the CTM SDK interface. Due to the highly parallel nature of vector processors, this can have a huge impact in specific data processing applications. The mass client project Folding@Home has reported improvements of 20 to 40 times using an R580 based graphics card [2]. ATi Radeon is a brand of graphics processing units (GPU) that has been manufactured by ATi Technologies since 2000 and the successor to their Rage line. ... GPU may stand for: Graphics processing unit, a special stream processor used in computer graphics hardware Gosudarstvennoye Politicheskoye Upravlenie (Главное Политическое Управление, or Main Political Directorate) of the Red Army, responsible for troops morale and propaganda. ... A floating-point number is a digital representation for a number in a certain subset of the rational numbers, and is often used to approximate an arbitrary real number on a computer. ... A vector processor, or array processor, is a CPU design that is able to run mathematical operations on a large number of data elements very quickly. ... A software development kit (SDK or devkit) is typically a set of development tools that allows a software engineer to create applications for a certain software package, software framework, hardware platform, computer system, video game console, operating system, or similar. ... Folding@home (also known as FAH or F@H) is a distributed computing project designed to perform computationally intensive simulations of protein folding and other molecular dynamics simulations. ...


Open Source

The CTM interface was made open source via the Beta version of Close-to-the-Metal (CTM) open source project on SourceForge.net on February 2, 2007. The source code is designed to let CTM presents a virtual machine abstraction for GPUs. CTM presents a thin interface to this hardware by hiding graphics-specific features of the device. However, as of June 2007, no source code have been released. A software release refers to the distribution, whether public or private, of an initial or new and upgraded version of a computer software product. ... SourceForge is a collaborative software development management system. ... is the 33rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... Source code (commonly just source or code) is any series of statements written in some human-readable computer programming language. ...


Limitations

  • Compared, for example, to traditional floating point accelerators such as the 64-bit floating point (FP64) CSX600 math processor from ClearSpeed that is used in today's supercomputers, the current GPUs from ATI (and NVIDIA GPUs) are only running on 32-bit with only single-precision data capabilities [3] instead of 64-bit double-precision capability of supercomputers [4].
  • Only bilinear texture filtering is supported - mipmapped textures and anisotropic filtering are not supported at this time.
  • Various deviations from the IEEE 754 standard. Denormal numbers and signalling NaNs are not supported; the rounding mode cannot be changed, and the precision of division/square root is slightly lower than single precision.
  • Functions cannot have a variable number of arguments. The same problem occurs for recursive functions.
  • Conversion of floating point numbers to integers on GPUs is done differently[clarify] than on x86 CPUs.
  • Doing "global synchronisation" on the GPU is not very efficient, which forces the GPU to divide the kernel and do synchronization on the CPU. Given the variable number of multiprocessors and other factors, there may not be a perfect solution to this problem.
  • The bus bandwidth and latency between the CPU and the GPU may become a bottleneck, which may be alleviate in the future by introducing interconnects with higher bandwidth.

Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... A floating-point number is a digital representation for a number in a certain subset of the rational numbers, and is often used to approximate an arbitrary real number on a computer. ... ClearSpeed is a company that develops processors for supercomputers. ... A supercomputer is a device for turning compute-bound problems into I/O-bound problems. ... GPU may stand for: Graphics processing unit, a special stream processor used in computer graphics hardware Gosudarstvennoye Politicheskoye Upravlenie (Главное Политическое Управление, or Main Political Directorate) of the Red Army, responsible for troops morale and propaganda. ... ATI may stand for: ATI Technologies Inc. ... NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) (pronounced ) is an American corporation specializing in the manufacture of GPU technologies for video cards, graphics cards, workstations, desktop computers, handhelds and more. ... GPU may stand for: Graphics processing unit, a special stream processor used in computer graphics hardware Gosudarstvennoye Politicheskoye Upravlenie (Главное Политическое Управление, or Main Political Directorate) of the Red Army, responsible for troops morale and propaganda. ... A supercomputer is a device for turning compute-bound problems into I/O-bound problems. ... A common method of simplification is to divide a problem into subproblems of the same type. ... The IEEE Standard for Binary Floating-Point Arithmetic (IEEE 754) is the most widely-used standard for floating-point computation, and is followed by many CPU and FPU implementations. ... In computer science, denormal numbers or denormalized numbers (now often called subnormal numbers) fill the gap around zero in floating point arithmetic: any non-zero number which is smaller than the smallest normal number is sub-normal. For example, if the smallest positive normal number is 1×β-n (where β is... In computing, NaN (Not a Number) is a value or symbol that is usually produced as the result of an operation on invalid input operands, especially in floating-point calculations. ... Rounding is the process of reducing the number of significant digits in a number. ... The term connection (also rendered connexion - this alternative spelling is now generally considered old-fashioned, but it was the house style of The Times of London until at least the late 1970s) has various uses, including: An act of connecting two or more physical entities in a physical sense or...

See also

The current version of the article or section is written like a magazine article instead of the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia. ... AMD headquarters in Sunnyvale Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. ... NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) (pronounced ) is an American corporation specializing in the manufacture of GPU technologies for video cards, graphics cards, workstations, desktop computers, handhelds and more. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) is a major supplier of graphics processors (graphics processing units, GPUs), graphics cards, and media and communications devices for PCs and game consoles (Xbox). ... General-purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPGPU, also referred to as GPGP and to a lesser extent GP²) is a recent trend in computer science that uses the graphics processing unit to perform the computations rather than the central processing unit (CPU). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... GPU may stand for: Graphics processing unit, a special stream processor used in computer graphics hardware Gosudarstvennoye Politicheskoye Upravlenie (Главное Политическое Управление, or Main Political Directorate) of the Red Army, responsible for troops morale and propaganda. ... General-purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPGPU, also referred to as GPGP and to a lesser extent GP²) is a recent trend in computer science that uses the graphics processing unit to perform the computations rather than the central processing unit (CPU). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with stream processing. ... Shaders are a set of different technologies. ... Lib Sh is a metaprogramming language for programmable GPUs. ...

References

  • ^  AMD “Close to Metal”™ Technology Unleashes the Power of Stream Computing: AMD Press Release, November 14, 2006.
  • ^  AnandTech report: ATI's Stream Processing & Folding@Home, September 30, 2006.
  • ^  Universit¨at Dortmund, Fachbereich Mathematik research: Accelerating Double precision on GPUs (Proceedings of ASIM 2005), Dominik Goddeke, Robert Strzodka, and Stefan Turek. 18th Symposium on Simulation Technique, 2005.
  • ^  TGDaily report: Nvidia activates a supercomputer in your PC, February 16, 2007.

External links

ATI graphics processors
2D Chips: Mach
Direct3D 3-6: Rage
Direct3D 7.0: Radeon R100
Direct3D 8.0: Radeon R200
Direct3D 9.0: Radeon R300R420R520
Direct3D 10: Radeon R600R700
Other ATI technologies
Chipsets: IGP3xx9000/9100 IGPXpress 200Xpress 3200580X690G790X
Multi-GPU: Multi-renderingCrossFire
Workstations and HPC: FireGLFireMV • FireStream
Consumer electronics: ImageonXilleon
Misc: AVIVOCTMHLSL2GLSLHyperMemory • PowerPlay • TruFormUVD
Game consoles: GameCube (Flipper) • Xbox 360 (Xenos) • Wii (Hollywood)

 
 

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