SAN JOSE, Calif. – Advanced Micro Devices will host a June developer conference to roll out a road map for programming its Fusion chips that merge x86 and graphics cores on the same processor. The AMD Fusion Developer Summit aims to attract about 400 programmers from a wide range of fields, showing them capabilities that could differentiate its chips from those of archrival Intel Corp.
"We want to ease the differences in programming CPUs and GPUs, and we've evolved a set of features that deliver some of these capabilities," said Eric Demers, chief technology officer for graphics at AMD and one of the event keynoters.
Demers will describe ways to eliminate unnecessary copy operations when moving data between x86 and graphics cores. He also is expected to discuss ways graphics cores on merged processors can access the same coherent memory used by x86 cores.
"Today sometimes some memory is not even visible from these different devices," he said.
Demers will show how merged graphics and x86 processors can adopt concepts used in symmetric multiprocessing servers. Some of the features may require extensions to the existing OpenCL applications programming interface for parallel programming or DirectCompute, the APIs Microsoft has defined for running general-purpose processing on grpahcis chips.
"There will be new concepts put forward to do things beyond what can do in current APIs," Demers said.
In his keynote, Demers also will sketch out technical directions for AMD's next generation graphics cores, although he is not expected to announce any new products.
At the event, ARM will talk about its strategy for supporting heterogeneous processors, including its support for the OpenCL standard. In addition, Microsoft will share its strategy for supporting merged GPU and CPUs.
The event will run June 13-16 in Bellevue, Washington, hosting more than 50 technical sessions. They span areas including multimedia, user interfaces, business and high-performance computing and security.