Saturday, June 18, 2005

NVidia RAGE Climate modeling:

I spotted this news item today:

Computer Graphics Card Simulates Supernova Collapse
New Scientist (06/10/05)
Researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in California have developed a programming language called Scout that enables complex mathematical calculations to be run on a computer's graphics processing unit rather than its central processing unit (CPU). (full article)


Several thoughts:

First, interesting that a segment of the market aimed at entertainment is driving chip performance, production and design so hard that it would approach that needed for computation-intensive science. This is in the same vein as a previous post of mine, speculating that the need for accurate spam filtering software may drive the language recognition programming field harder than any other factor.

Second, it's rather interesting to realize that first-world youth probably has an enormous amount of computing power at its disposal. I note in the article that they are working on a version of the programming language that will allow networked computers to share their graphics cards computing power, sort of like the SETI@Home model.

Third, it occurs to me that this must be giving the export control folks a fit. Will high-powered graphics card access software be a 'deemed export'? We shall see.

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