PeakStream acquired by Google

Tuesday 05th June 2007, 04:04:00 PM, written by Tim

GPGPU middleware developer PeakStream has been acquired by Google, according to The Register. Where this leaves the GPGPU development platform is unclear, although it has stopped selling the product for the moment.

This could certainly be a blow for AMD, since PeakStream was a launch partner and one of the premiere GPGPU packages to use the R580. If Google turns the product into an internal-only platform, AMD will be left with only RapidMind and BrookGPU for high-level GPGPU support. This is certainly not an ideal situation for AMD. RapidMind uses GLSL, making it susceptible to driver issues that have traditionally plagued GPGPU applications, and even though it has a CTM backend, BrookGPU supports no features beyond those available in DX9/OGL2.0--any GPGPU-specific features such as scatter must be performed via assembly tuning. It's possible that AMD had advance knowledge of this acquisition; as of a few months ago, they had developers contributing to the CTM backend of BrookGPU.

However, it is certainly possible that PeakStream will reemerge as an open source, cross-vendor GPGPU platform. With our sources indicating that the specifications to NVIDIA's PTX ISA are due to be released in the next few weeks, it shouldn't be too long before a PeakStream-to-PTX compiler is written, which would make it the only language to support native GPGPU features on both AMD and NVIDIA cards. With CUDA already causing a significant stir in the oil and finance industries as well as academia, a free, stable platform could definitely trigger an explosion in the number of consumer-level GPGPU applications on the market today.

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gpgpu ± ati, peakstream, cuda, google