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Recently in ACM Queue: A conversation with Kurt Akeley (one of the key designers of OpenGL) and Pat Hanrahan (ditto for RenderMan) ... and if that weren't enough, the conversation partner with the interviewer hat on is Tom Duff.
Graphics veterans debate the evolution of the GPU
PH: "It's not that [create GPU]s are on a weird, parallel track trying to solve only the graphics problem - they actually got ahead of the more-general computing game by innovating in computer architecture. That's very interesting, and if you're a programmer, it's the main reason you should be aware of these techniques and what's going on."
TD: "The performance of old-school GPUs really depended on the fact that we knew exactly what the algorithm was. All of the control junk that was in a normal CPU was pretty much irrelevant."
KA: "The interesting thing is that people in the CPU world are not sitting on their hands anymore. As soon as they made the decision to go parallel, the gloves came off. They're going to stop squandering all those transistors on trying to make one thread go incrementally faster, and they're going to start using them to make a bunch of threads go faster. This puts them potentially on the same curve as GPUs."
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