AVX Extensions - Ongoing development?

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Profile Todd Hebert
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Message 1072844 - Posted: 31 Jan 2011, 22:24:00 UTC

Good day,
I wanted to see if any of our programmer types have been working on an app build with the AVX extensions of the Sandy Bridge cpu's employed?

There seems to be a great deal of excitement around this proposal of enhanced performance without the need for an outboard GPU.

Todd
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Profile Sutaru Tsureku
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Message 1072870 - Posted: 31 Jan 2011, 23:47:38 UTC - in response to Message 1072844.  
Last modified: 31 Jan 2011, 23:51:29 UTC

Do you have a Lunatics forum account? If yes, maybe ask there - I guess you get there faster reply.


I found inter alia: intel.com/avx.

Also, min requirements would be Win7 SP1.


IIRC, in past it was also a money question, for to use the compiler/publish a new app.


(I hope the new AMD CPU (Bulldozer) profit also (equal) from a/the new app! ;-)
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Richard Haselgrove Project Donor
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Message 1072875 - Posted: 31 Jan 2011, 23:55:30 UTC

So, to get this clear:

We need an operating system upgrade

We need a compiler

We need some hardware

And, last but not least, we need some manpower (skilled programmers) - a rare and special breed

Who's offering to supply what?
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Message 1072886 - Posted: 1 Feb 2011, 0:16:48 UTC - in response to Message 1072875.  

So, to get this clear:

We need an operating system upgrade

We need a compiler

We need some hardware

And, last but not least, we need some manpower (skilled programmers) - a rare and special breed

Who's offering to supply what?



I can compile for Windows.
It seems visual studio fully supports AVX, quote from: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/vcblog/archive/2009/11/02/visual-c-code-generation-in-visual-studio-2010.aspx



Support for AVX in Intel and AMD processors: Intel AVX (Intel Advanced Vector Extensions) is a 256 bit instruction set extension to SSE and is designed for applications that are floating point intensive (See here and here for detailed information from Intel and AMD respectively). In VS2010 release, all AVX features and instructions are fully supported via intrinsic and /arch:AVX. Many optimizations have been added to improve the code quality of AVX code generation which will be described with more details in an upcoming blog post. In addition to AVX support in the compiler, the Microsoft Macro Assembler (MASM) in VS2010 also supports the Intel AVX instruction set for x86 and x64.


I can provide a link to sp1 for Windows 7, that's not a problem.

Anyone care to send me a link to the windows solution/project? Thanx!
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Message 1072890 - Posted: 1 Feb 2011, 0:23:29 UTC - in response to Message 1072875.  

So, to get this clear:

We need an operating system upgrade

We need a compiler

We need some hardware

And, last but not least, we need some manpower (skilled programmers) - a rare and special breed

Who's offering to supply what?


Todd has volunteered the hardware over in another thread.
http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=62925&nowrap=true#1070984

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baron_iv
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Message 1072892 - Posted: 1 Feb 2011, 0:26:10 UTC - in response to Message 1072875.  

So, to get this clear:

We need an operating system upgrade

We need a compiler

We need some hardware

And, last but not least, we need some manpower (skilled programmers) - a rare and special breed

Who's offering to supply what?


OS Upgrade is free (if you're already using win 7, you can get SP1 at the MSDN website). Or, if you run linux, support has been implemented in the kernel for over a year and it's also implemented in GCC.

Compiler...I'm guessing it would require a free upgrade for windows. I don't know anything about compiling on windows, the only time I've ever compiled is for Linux/Unix.

I would assume that there's someone out there who has the new sandy bridge system who also programs... if not, 'm guessing we could figure out how to get them one, they're not super duper expensive, especially if you stay away from the core i7 models.

Manpower...that's always the issue. We've got so many brilliant people here on the forums that I have no doubt that someone will step up and accept the challenge. If I knew anything at all about programming, I'd be more than happy to do it, but sadly I never took the time to learn.

I know it's not much, but I'll send $10 to the first developer who comes up with a working seti AVX application. After all, it's taking time out of their day to do something that I will benefit from, so it's only right that I try to give them something in return. If we have other sandy bridge users who throw in a couple bucks here and a couple bucks there, it might be worth someone's time to get this done. :)
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Profile Todd Hebert
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Message 1072920 - Posted: 1 Feb 2011, 2:18:59 UTC

Hey all,
I will provide a board (as soon as it comes in the mail), a cpu, a heatsink and some ram. I can throw in a copy of Windows 7 if you don't have one - it doesn't need to be activated to develop on and can be reset to allow for a longer period - (slmgr -rearm from a administrative command prompt) SP1 for Windows 7 is a free download from MSDN as has been stated here already.

Todd
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Message 1073105 - Posted: 1 Feb 2011, 14:17:34 UTC - in response to Message 1072892.  

Compiler...I'm guessing it would require a free upgrade for windows. I don't know anything about compiling on windows, the only time I've ever compiled is for Linux/Unix.


I already have the proper compiler installed for Windows, you do not need a SB cpu to compile an app FOR the SB cpu.

I'll try to find the latest sources when I have some free time, Todd volunteered to give it a whirl on his SB hardware.
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Message 1073122 - Posted: 1 Feb 2011, 15:07:37 UTC - in response to Message 1073105.  

I'll have SB cpu/mobo/ram tomorrow too, assuming the weather doesn't block the courier. Getting pretty nasty here in Missouri right now... car is covered in ice, sleet is coming down so heavy that I can barely see the neighbor's house and the storm has just started according to the radar... TWELVE TO FIFTEEN INCHES of snow! whoo hoo! I love snow, but I'm gonna be bummed if it makes my SB gear late!

Anyway, when it gets here, I'd be happy to beta-test anything you throw together too. :)
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Profile Andy Lee Robinson
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Message 1073128 - Posted: 1 Feb 2011, 15:15:10 UTC - in response to Message 1072920.  

Todd, you could just share the machine using VNC for a developer to
drive remotely. Don't have to waste time sending the machine anywhere!
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Message 1073157 - Posted: 1 Feb 2011, 15:55:13 UTC - in response to Message 1073128.  

Todd, you could just share the machine using VNC for a developer to
drive remotely. Don't have to waste time sending the machine anywhere!


If Todd can't, I believe I can. I've never used VNC on windows though, so I'll have to do a bit of reading to find out more about it. I am a mac/linux user who has been running windows for a relatively short amount of time. Personally, I dislike windows and microsoft very much, but I try to keep that under wraps as much as possible here, since this isn't really the place to start a flame war. ;)

Mine will have a fresh windows install, whereas todd may have already put some personal stuff he wouldn't want others having access to on his, since he's had it a bit longer. Ofc my delivery is now at the mercy of Mother Nature, so I may or may not have it tomorrow.
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Message 1073211 - Posted: 1 Feb 2011, 17:35:48 UTC - in response to Message 1073157.  

www.realvnc.com - free version..
Best if the remote machine is behind a linux gateway/firewall then can use
putty to redirect a local port through an ssh tunnel to the VNC machine on the other side to keep the traffic safe.
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Profile Todd Hebert
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Message 1073218 - Posted: 1 Feb 2011, 22:34:14 UTC - in response to Message 1073211.  

Could always use TeamViewer or LogMeIn as well.
Todd
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Profile Todd Hebert
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Message 1073310 - Posted: 2 Feb 2011, 4:30:03 UTC

Jason_Gee has stepped up to the plate to undertake the development of an optimized App for the new AVX extensions that were released with the Intel Sandy Bridge CPU's.

This will be done on a machine in my farm that will be made available to him to do with as time allows and on his own personal schedule. Progress may take time and much effort will be put forth so please lets all give Jason a big round of applause!

Three cheers for Jason!

Todd
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Message 1073437 - Posted: 2 Feb 2011, 14:44:15 UTC - in response to Message 1073310.  

..
This will be done on a machine in my farm that will be made available...


That's cool. I'm currently making a optimized AVX build of seti using VS2010, it's interesting to peruse the source code.
A SB cpu is not required to compile an application which requires SB, Todd volunteered to be a beta tester since he has SB hardware.
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Message 1073439 - Posted: 2 Feb 2011, 14:46:23 UTC

Interesting development there! Can't wait to see what these chips can really do if everything works out!
Traveling through space at ~67,000mph!
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Message 1073485 - Posted: 2 Feb 2011, 16:58:20 UTC - in response to Message 1073439.  

The compiler I am using is roughly the next gen after the one used to build the current seti, and appears to have several performance improvements, see:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/vcblog/archive/2009/11/02/visual-c-code-generation-in-visual-studio-2010.aspx
for details.

Generally speaking, compiler upgrades do require some tweaks to the code and/or settings (I've been doing this a long time:-) but it depends on the nature of the code itself.

I am hopeful.
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Message 1073528 - Posted: 2 Feb 2011, 20:03:26 UTC - in response to Message 1073485.  
Last modified: 2 Feb 2011, 20:04:35 UTC

The compiler I am using is roughly the next gen after the one used to build the current seti, and appears to have several performance improvements, see:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/vcblog/archive/2009/11/02/visual-c-code-generation-in-visual-studio-2010.aspx
for details.

Generally speaking, compiler upgrades do require some tweaks to the code and/or settings (I've been doing this a long time:-) but it depends on the nature of the code itself.

I am hopeful.

Do you use SETI stock sources or AKv8 ones? AFAIK both releases were built with VS2005. And, BTW, why not Intel Compiler?
EDIT: actually, stock was built with non-MS compiler at all but contains VS2005 solution.
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Message 1073567 - Posted: 2 Feb 2011, 21:19:52 UTC - in response to Message 1073528.  

As per: http://boinc.berkeley.edu/wiki/SourceCode
Sources were obtained via

svn co http://boinc.berkeley.edu/svn/trunk/boinc


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Message 1073569 - Posted: 2 Feb 2011, 21:34:18 UTC - in response to Message 1073567.  
Last modified: 2 Feb 2011, 21:34:39 UTC

As per: http://boinc.berkeley.edu/wiki/SourceCode
Sources were obtained via

svn co http://boinc.berkeley.edu/svn/trunk/boinc



As AKv8 being base of all Lunais MB build is known to be considerably faster than current stock build you could try to download sourses from Lunatics site.
AFAIK they should be in public access area. If not let me know.
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Message boards : Number crunching : AVX Extensions - Ongoing development?


 
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