Los Alamos develops programming language for GPUs

— 12:15 PM on June 10, 2005

New Scientist has an interesting article on Scout, a GPU programming language developed at the Los Alamos National Lab. Using Scout, scientists have been able to run certain types of calculations 12 times faster on a graphics chip than the system processor.

Researchers at LANL have already tested Scout by modelling a critical moment during a particularly spectacular astronomical event: a “core-collapse supernova”. The simulations ran 12 times faster than they do on a single CPU, McCormick says, primarily because the problem is so well suited to a graphics processors' capabilities.

The researchers simulated the shockwave produced after the core of a super-giant star collapses upon itself. The collapse occurs when a gravitationally unstable iron core has been generated by fusion reactions inside the star. A video produced by LANL shows the Scout code used to model the shockwave, alongside a graphical representation of the process.

Unfortunately, there's no word on either the graphics chip or system processor used in the simulation.
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