One of the presentations I caught at SC11 was by GPU computing pioneer Ian Buck - which is a good name for a pioneer, I think. Buck’s Stanford PhD thesis, Stream Computing on Graphics Hardware, capped his research into using GPUs as computing resources and his work to develop Brook, one of the earliest programming languages …
Perhaps not quite an HPC topic, but the hash calculations used in bitcoins are done so efficiently on AMD's recent VLIW GPU architectures that nobody uses nVidia GPUs (much less CPUs) to calculate them anymore.
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