[gmx-developers] GROMACS OpenCL on Gallium

Vedran Miletić rivanvx at gmail.com
Thu Nov 26 20:21:58 CET 2015

2015-11-26 20:07 GMT+01:00 Szilárd Páll <pall.szilard at gmail.com>:
> Hi,
> Besides FPGA folks, what about Apple, embedded and mobile platforms
> (Qualcomm, ARM, Samsung, etc.)?
> I'm not sure Intel is totally uninterested. They've just moved out again
> their OpenCL SDK form the silly bundle they had before in the latest release
> AFAIK because people complained.

On a non-HPC side, there is also Beignet which, from what I hear,
should be pretty stable.

> NVIDIA: no comment.

Actually, they have improved in this regard. They now support OpenCL
1.2 [1] and they are willing to fund OpenCL-based teaching and
research programs; they have rebranded their academic programs from
CUDA Teaching Center to GPU Education Center etc.

> HIP and CUDA support seems like a desperate move from AMD to lower the
> barrier of entry and make things (seem) easier. Attracting dev/user interest
> to stay afloat is crucial for them. It would however be a major mistake for
> AMD to move away from OpenCL, I think - unless they want to shoot themselves
> in the foot by encouraging people to only write CUDA kernels for AMD. Still
> need to look into this closer to understand what the direction is.

I agree completely. I hope they are aware that being completely open
source is their (only?) big advantage, because stability, performance,
and performance per watt are lacking.

> Overall, I feel like this is the time to not take the back seat. Rather than
> letting others decide whether it's going to be open standards or vendor
> lock-in that defines the low-level accelerator programming for the coming
> years I feel like we, though GROMACS, can show that we care and perhaps can
> make a difference. That's why I wrote the previous mail. Don't get me wrong,
> I do not have the illusion that tomorrow we can just drop CUDA support just
> to make a point. However, providing an a decent alternative based on OpenCL
> and pointing out that we want the open alternative to work as well as the
> closed one does require effort, but it is realistic.

Thanks for saying that. GROMACS is an widely used code and we might
have a chance here.

Vedran Miletic

[1] http://www.geeks3d.com/20150326/nvidia-r349-12-graphics-driver-for-linux/

> Cheers,
> --
> Szilárd

Vedran Miletić

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