C++ Accelerated Massive Parallelism

Wed, June 15, 2011, 09:16 AM under GPGPU | ParallelComputing

At AMD's Fusion conference Herb Sutter announced in his keynote session a technology that our team has been working on that we call C++ Accelerated Massive Parallelism (C++ AMP) and during the keynote I showed a brief demo of an app built with our technology. After the keynote, I go deeper into the technology in my breakout session. If you read both those abstracts, you'll get some information about what C++ AMP is, without being too explicit since we published the abstracts before the technology was announced.

You can find the official online announcement at Soma's blog post.

Here, I just wanted to capture the key points about C++ AMP that can serve as an introduction and an FAQ. So, in no particular order…


  1. lowers the barrier to entry for heterogeneous hardware programmability and brings performance to the mainstream, without sacrificing developer productivity or solution portability.
  2. is designed not only to help you address today's massively parallel hardware (i.e. GPUs and APUs), but it also future proofs your code investments with a forward looking design.
  3. is part of Visual C++. You don't need to use a different compiler or learn different syntax.
  4. is modern C++. Not C or some other derivative.
  5. is integrated and supported fully in Visual Studio 11. Editing, building, debugging, profiling and all the other goodness of Visual Studio work well with C++ AMP.
  6. provides an STL-like library as part of the existing concurrency namespace and delivered in the new amp.h header file.
  7. makes it extremely easy to work with large multi-dimensional data on heterogeneous hardware; in a manner that exposes parallelization.
  8. introduces only one core C++ language extension.
  9. builds on DirectX (and DirectCompute in particular) which offers a great hardware abstraction layer that is ubiquitous and reliable. The architecture is such, that this point can be thought of as an implementation detail that does not surface to the API layer.

Stay tuned on my blog for more over the coming months where I will switch from just talking about C++ AMP to showing you how to use the API with code examples…