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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » General Discussion
General Purpose GPU
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jksuperstar



Joined: Aug 20, 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:44 pm    Post subject: General Purpose GPU
Subject description: OpenCL, OpenGL, OpenAL, CUDA, CTM, FireStream, etc...
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Anyone been up to speed on OpenCL, GPGPU, CUDA, or FireStream?

(ie - the use of GPU graphics engines to calculate more general purpose tasks, or more specifically to us, general audio calculations)

Given the current existence of Nvidia and AMD/ATI's massive parallel processors, that can excel at 32-bit Floating Point operations, and the future merger of Cores & Graphics, it seems to me like someone is potentially putting a MASSIVE GFLOP coprocessor next to my CPU.

So, I'd like to start a conversation about converting audio related calculations to matrix style equations, or any other use of the many libraries and languages listed in the subject description above. Or any other potential use of this mind boggling amount of power we all have available to us.
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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The main use of the GPU would for audio would be to use fragment/pixel shaders to do the audio work, matrices are used for vertex shaders which are used for transforming vertexes.

GPUs have been used successfully for convolution type effects which they are well suited for.

I have done work before for graphics with all this stuff and have always meant to have a look at the audio side but never really got around to it.

A good few years ago ATI and NVidia were working on audio SDKs that worked on their GPUs but not much really seems to have come of it, one of the issues with GPUs is they don't work that well with algorithms that use output from previous calculations this is due to the parallel nature of the hardware.

Also latency is an issue, read-back on AGP busses is crap so realtime algorithms are buggered.


Good Luck!

Andy
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DrJustice



Joined: Sep 13, 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

In game engines the GPUs are being utilized for physics. ATI and NVIDIA are providing current tools for this.

As for AGP graphic cards, AFAIK only a few veteran gaming rigs still have those; they were pretty much phased out around three years ago. It's all PCI-X now.

DJ
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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

DrJustice wrote:
In game engines the GPUs are being utilized for physics. ATI and NVIDIA are providing current tools for this.

As for AGP graphic cards, AFAIK only a few veteran gaming rigs still have those; they were pretty much phased out around three years ago. It's all PCI-X now.

DJ
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Bloody hell good point, shows how long ago I looked at it!

PCI-X are same speed both ways aren't they?
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Usage the GPU for parallel has been a core goal of Snow Leopard (the latest Mac OSX):

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/09/04/inside_mac_os_x_snow_leopard_gpu_optimization.html

This article is old, but mentions the ridiculous number of cores contained in Nvidia's state of the art GPU at the time (240):
http://gizmodo.com/5017615/giz-explains-mac-os-106-snow-leopard-parallel-processing-and-gpu-computing

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JovianPyx



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A post came in the other day on SDIY regarding the use of a GPU for audio applications. It was essentially a question: Where are all the GPU DSP applications?

I just today searched with Google and found lots of theory about how it could be done, but I see no specific applications such as synthesizers or effects processors developed. Searching for "GPU audio processor" and "GPU music synthesizer" returns no examples of working systems available to interested parties.

One research article (URL lost, sorry) indicated from their experiments (I think with CUDA) that it was not readily possible to implement infinite impulse response (recursive) systems due to a lack of access to past output data. The IIR filter is a quite important element in audio processing and synthesis.

A few years ago, a friend of mine had looked into this and opined that GPUs tend to be designed to process graphics data specifically and didn't lend itself easily to audio processing.

Perhaps in the future there will be available an APU similar to the GPU, but reconfigured to process or generate audio streams using multiple identical processing cores.

The main point I found in favor of GPU (over FPGA) for DSP was development and compile time. However, there was no indication of how this was measured and if that measurement was truly meaningful.

The lack of any useable finished audio systems implemented with a GPU would seem to support the notion that GPU is not yet ready for audio.

Caveat - I may suck at Google...

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Dougster



Joined: Sep 20, 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Just a thought: People who are good at GPU programming are getting paid to do other things besides audio... Wink

Regards,
Doug

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