Languages and Compilers for Parallel Computing

Volume 5898 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 65-79

MIMD Interpretation on a GPU

  • Henry G. DietzAffiliated withElectrical and Computer Engineering, University of Kentucky
  • , B. Dalton YoungAffiliated withElectrical and Computer Engineering, University of Kentucky

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Programming heterogeneous parallel computer systems is notoriously difficult, but MIMD models have proven to be portable across multi-core processors, clusters, and massively parallel systems. It would be highly desirable for GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) also to be able to leverage algorithms and programming tools designed for MIMD targets. Unfortunately, most GPU hardware implements a very restrictive multi-threaded SIMD-based execution model.

This paper presents a compiler, assembler, and interpreter system that allows a GPU to implement a richly featured MIMD execution model that supports shared-memory communication, recursion, etc. Through a variety of careful design choices and optimizations, reasonable efficiency is obtained on NVIDIA CUDA GPUs. The discussion covers both the methods used and the motivation in terms of the relevant aspects of GPU architecture.