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Nvidia’s Steve Scott: No Free Lunch for Intel MIC or GPU’s

Nvidia’s Steve Scott writes that Intel’s MIC architecture story doesn’t hold water for HPC application performance.

It’s clear to me that hybrid architectures make increasing sense in our power-constrained future, and Intel’s MIC effort shows they think so too. The upcoming Knights Corner processor will reportedly look much like today’s Fermi GPUs: power-efficient accelerators attached to an x86 CPU via PCIe. Programming the two architectures should be very similar: structure applications to expose parallelism and locality, and express via directives; use the multi-core CPUs for serial code, and execute the parallel kernels on the accelerator. The hope that unmodified HPC applications will work well on MIC with just a recompile is not really credible, nor is talking about ease of programming without consideration of performance.

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