Gdev Still Happening While PSCNV Driver Is Stalled
The Gdev open-source NVIDIA CUDA run-time implementation is still being actively developed while PathScale's "PSCNV" fork of the Nouveau driver hasn't seen new commit activity in months.
Gdev was originally talked about this past March on Phoronix as a competitive open-source NVIDIA CUDA run-time. Gdev development was led (and continues to be led) by Shinpei Kato, the developer who previously worked on the TimeGraph GPU command scheduler.
Out of a research project, this open-source implementation of NVIDIA's GPGPU technology was born where a full Compute Unified Device Architecture was developed aside from needing to use NVIDIA's nvcc compiler for CUDA programs. See the earlier article for more details. As of this summer, it was still being developed and its pleasing to see that it's still being developed.
Gdev development is still going on as can be seen by the commit activity for its Git repository. The most recent commits were last week with lots of activity having happened in October and November.
Gdev contains open-source device drivers and runtime libraries to manage GPUs as first-class computing resources. Currently we support NVIDIA's Fermi GPUs, but Gdev is certainly applicable to many compute devices and accelerators. Gdev provides two types of APIs. "Gdev API" is a low-level primitive that allows programmers to control the detail of GPU resource parameters, while Gdev also supports a high-level API, such as CUDA. Gdev is available for GPGPU and graphics applications - it is self-contained for GPGPU, but you may need additional packages, such as OpenGL, LIBDRM, and DDX, for graphics applications.Meanwhile, another open-source NVIDIA component, PSCNV, isn't seeing as much love these days. PSCNV is a Nouveau DRM driver fork. PathScale's focus for PSCNV has been on bettering the open-source NVIDIA graphics stack for handling GPGPU at good performance levels. The PSCNV driver fork was going on for over two years but had mixed feelings and never in a position to replace the Nouveau DRM driver within the mainline Linux kernel.
When looking at the public PSCNV Git repository, there hasn't been any driver commits since the beginning of August.
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