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The CUDA Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to GPU Programming by Nicholas Wilt

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Chapter 1. Background

Much ink has been spilled describing the GPU revolution in computing. I have read about it with interest because I got involved very early. I was at Microsoft in the mid-1990s as development lead for Direct3D when Intel and AMD were introducing the first multimedia instruction sets to accelerate floating point computation. Intel had already tried (unsuccessfully) to forestall the migration of clock cycles for 3D rasterization from their CPUs by working with Microsoft to ship rasterizers that used their MMX instruction set. I knew that effort was doomed when we found that the MMX rasterizer, running on a yet-to-be-released Pentium 2 processor, was half as fast as a humble S3 Virge GX rasterizer that was available for sale. ...

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