PS3-XBOX 360 as Linux Graphics workstations

Robin Humble rjh-tkNKonCg4laeFQavDyXPBQ at
Tue Nov 1 06:16:09 UTC 2005

On Mon, Oct 24, 2005 at 02:56:23PM -0400, Lennart Sorensen wrote:
>On Mon, Oct 24, 2005 at 02:18:41PM -0400, Christopher Browne wrote:
>> What would be pretty nifty would be to generate some libraries that
>> know how to use the extra processors to do some parallel processing.
>> The way that games get wacky wild power out of PS/2 hardware is by
>> having them offload parts of the work onto the secondary processors. 
>> That traditionally required pretty funky programming.

the Cell "secondary processors" are somewhere inbetween glorified
vector units and processors. So yes, hard to program for.

Even harder if it's not a shared-memory architecture (I assume it is,
but I haven't checked).

>> What would be very cool would be to generate libraries or such that
>> can automate the offloading of computational effort.
>If you could come up with a generic automated way to make programs
>multithreaded, you would probably become very rich.

One way to get parallelisation is OpenMP. not entirely automated, but
only requires a few directives near critical sections of the code, and
that code is made multi-threaded by the compiler.
the Intel compilers do OpenMP, but it can still be buggy.

the KAP pre-processor suite used to try to put in the OpenMP directives
for you, making the parallelisation fully automated.
I believe that the KAP tech is now owned and sold by Intel under some
other name.

I don't know of any FOSS OpenMP capable pre-processors or compilers, but
would like to hear about them if there are! :-)

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