NVIDIA Open-Sources Its CUDA Compiler
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 14 December 2011 at 09:45 AM EST. 13 Comments
It's not often that there's open-source news to report from the NVIDIA camp, but there's some great news this morning. NVIDIA Corp has open-sourced its CUDA compiler!

NVIDIA announced at GTC Asia in Bejing that they are opening up the CUDA platform by releasing their compiler surce-code. The new NVIDIA CUDA compiler is based upon LLVM.

NVIDIA says they are open-sourcing their CUDA compiler for "enabling [researchers and software vendors] to more easily add GPU support for more programming languages and support CUDA applications on alternative processor architectures."

The LLVM-based CUDA compiler is part of the CUDA Toolkit 4.1 release. Along with releasing the source-code, they are providing documentation on the CUDA IR (Intermediate Representation) format.

CUDA can now come to other processing architectures and even other non-NVIDIA GPUs.

This move isn't entirely surprising though based upon the growing presence of OpenCL and it becoming widely adopted across many CPU and GPU architectures.

While the CUDA compiler is now open-source, getting the actual source-code is a bit difficult at the moment. NVIDIA is making "qualified academic researchers and software tools developers" fill out a form, but when doing so you don't even have immediate access to the code. With that said, it's not known at the moment under which license NVIDIA is releasing the CUDA compiler.

NVIDIA announced this open-source move in a press release and comes just days after AMD open-sourced its IL code generator for OpenCL, which also utilizes LLVM.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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