Microsoft Demos C++ AMP Heterogeneous Computing at AMD's Fusion Developer Summit

The second day of the AMD Fusion Developer Summit began with a keynote from Microsoft’s Herb Sutter, Principal Architect, Native Languages and resident C++ guru. The gist of Herb’s talk centered around heterogeneous computing and the changes coming with future versions of Visual Studio and C++.

One of the main highlights of the talk was a demo of a C++ AMP application that seamlessly took advantage of all of the compute resources within a few of the various demo systems, from workstations to netbooks.  The application seamlessly switched from using CPU, integrated GPU, and discrete GPU resources, showcasing the performance capabilities of each. Heterogeneous computing capabilities in Visual Studio and C++ will be rolling out over the course of this year and next, but details of the release dates are sketchy at the moment. The demo, however, was rather interesting to see live. In this physics simulation, bodies are tracked in relation to each other and as additional bodies are added, workload increases with a ramp-up to 100s of GFLops in compute performance.

In addition to demonstrating the benefits C++ AMP in general, Herb also disclosed that the C++ AMP is going to open specification such that other compilers can target C++ AMP optimizations.