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PhysX, GPUs, and the future of supercomputing

An article at Arstechnica.com states: "What if I told you that most of what the tech press thinks they know about Ageia and the PhysX PPU is completely wrong? What if I told you that there's more to PhysX than physics? And what if I said that there exists a grand unified theory of stream computing and the high-performance computing (HPC) market that's simple and perhaps even a bit obvious, but it makes sense of all the stream-computing-related press releases from NVIDIA, AMD/ATI, Ageia, Peakstream, and others that have been coming down the wire in past year?

Maybe you'd think I'm crazy, but you should hear me out first.

Sieve provides a window into PhysX:
A company called Codeplay showed up at this week's GDC to talk about their new auto-parallelizing compiler, called Sieve. Sieve takes in single-threaded C/C++ code, examines it for dependencies and parallelization opportunities, and turns it into multithreaded code for use on multicore processors. The programmers in the audience are going to be immediately skeptical that this actually works as advertised, because multithreading an application is hard enough for humans to do right now, and in many previous articles on the topic I've talked about why this is the case. But I'm going to skip over all that because I don't really want to focus on Codeplay or Sieve. Instead, I want to talk about what Codeplay can tell us about one of the most mysterious and misunderstood chips currently on the market: Ageia's PhysX PPU."

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arstechnica.com
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