Before we dive into what this means for you as a developer, let’s take a look at what CUDA computing actually is. The short answer? It’s a collection of parallel computing technologies developed by Nvidia that enables the development of faster, more efficient programs for various platforms and devices.
In other words, it’s not some obscure feature added to video cards. Instead, it’s something that directly benefits developers by enabling them to write apps faster and code more efficiently.
With more efficient code comes faster performance and better performance in games increases your odds of completing a game or task before your opponent does.
For example, enabling CUDA acceleration on your CPU will make your app run faster and smoother on any device with an NVIDIA GPU (video card).
That means, PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones and even immersion VR headsets like the Oculus Rift because CUDA acceleration is available on all of these devices without additional software installs or driver downloads.
What Can You Do With CUDA Compute?
First and foremost, apps written with the aid of the new platform can now take full advantage of the incredible computing power provided by modern graphics cards.
Using the industry-standard OpenGL or OpenCL APIs, most apps can use the full power of a graphics card to its fullest potential. This includes things like physics calculations, facial expressions, environmental effects and lightmaps.
If a game or app doesn’t specify what technology is being used to run it, you can rest assured that it’s running on a GPU.
What’s the Difference Between CPU and GPU Computing?
Just to be clear, CPUs and GPUs are not the same thing. While both can perform some parallel computing, the process is different and the technology used is different.
GPU computing is based on advanced mathematics and physics, while CPUs can only execute loops, conditions and expressions that are related to simple math and logical relations.
The main difference is that GPUs are more general-purpose, while CPUs are more specifically tailored to a certain task.
While most programming tasks will always require the better performance of a GPU, it’s important to note that other tasks, especially those involving traditional software interfaces and high-level tasks, can benefit from the speed and efficiency of a CPU.
Benefits of Using CUDA
The biggest benefits of using CUDA are probably going to be seen in professional applications where speed and efficiency are essential. For example, one can use CUDA to parallelize dynamic-linker-based applications that need to run on multiple platforms.
Additionally, it can be used to accelerate modern games and apps, as well as to improve various scientific and industrial-related applications that make use of advanced algorithms.
As we continue to see more and more games and apps take advantage of the power of the GPU to reach new levels of efficiency, it’s important for developers to understand how their apps can benefit from the new platform.
To put it simply, CUDA is a game-changer for the gaming industry. If you’ve been wondering how your favorite games and apps can take advantage of the new platform and what it means for developers, wonder no longer.
With the release of the GeForce RTX 20 and 20 Ti graphics cards, coupled with the announcements of the Turing architecture and the new Cuda distributed computing platform, the future of high-performance computing looks bright.