Tim Sweeney: GPGPU Software Uneconomical to Develop, GPUs Set to Disappear
Tim Sweeney, chief executive officer of Epic Games, said during his keynote at High Performance Graphics 2009 conference earlier this month that it is dramatically more expensive to develop software that relies on general purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPGPU) than to create a program that utilizes central processing units. He also re-iterated his earlier claims that the days of GPUs are counted.
It is not a secret that peak performance of hardware is increasing very fast these days. However, in order to utilize the additional performance and feature-set, developers of software, namely video games, have to increase development time and budgets. Although the market of video games has been growing rather rapidly in the recent years, game budgets have not been increasing that rapidly. Mr. Sweeney claims that although performance increase may be 20 times, game budgets will only increase less than two times. As a result, it is vital for game developers to take advantage of the modern hardware capabilities and performance at the lowest possible cost.
Current GPUs are basically RISC CPUs optimized for a specific set of tasks; Tim's right that if they can make a general purpose unit where you can run programs on without having to adhere to a predefined ruleset, that unit will most likely be a favorite among developers:)
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