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Nvidia, Cray, PGI, and CAPS launch ‘OpenACC’ programming standard for parallel computing

Designed for programmers to take advantage of heterogeneous CPU/GPU computing systems
Mon Nov 14 2011, 17:21

A GROUP of companies comprising Nvidia, Cray, the Portland Group (PGI) and CAPS enterprise have announced a parallel programming standard known as OpenACC.

OpenACC is an open parallel programming standard designed to enable the millions of scientific and technical programmers to easily take advantage of heterogeneous CPU/GPU computing systems.

It allows parallel programmers to provide simple hints, known as "directives", to the compiler, identifying which areas of code to accelerate, without requiring programmers to modify or adapt the underlying code itself. By exposing parallelism to the compiler, directives allow the compiler to do the detailed work of mapping the computation onto the accelerator.

OpenACC is aimed at a broad range of programmers working in chemistry, biology, physics, data analytics, weather and climate, intelligence, and many other fields. Existing compilers from Cray, PGI and CAPS are expected to provide initial support for the OpenACC standard beginning in the first quarter of 2012.

The standard is fully compatible and interoperable with the Nvidia Cuda parallel programming architecture, which is designed to allow detailed control over the accelerator for maximum performance tuning. µ


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