Fri, February 19, 2010, 04:00 PM under ParallelComputing | GPGPU
In my previous blog post I introduced the concept of GPGPU ending with:
On Windows, there is already a cross-GPU-vendor way of programming GPUs and that is the Direct X API. Specifically, on Windows Vista and Windows 7, the DirectX 11 API offers a dedicated subset of the API for GPGPU programming: DirectCompute. You use this API on the CPU side, to set up and execute the kernels on the GPU. The kernels are written in a language called HLSL (High Level Shader Language). You can use DirectCompute with HLSL to write a "compute shader", which is the term DirectX uses for what I've been referring to in this post as "kernel".
In this post I want to share some links to get you started with DirectCompute and HLSL.

1. Watch the recording of the PDC 09 session: DirectX11 DirectCompute.

2. If session recordings is your thing there are two more on DirectCompute from nvidia's GTC09 conference 1015 (pdf, mp4) and 1411 (mp4 plus the presenter's written version of the session).

3. Over at gamedev there is an old Compute Shader tutorial. At the same site, there is a 3-part blog post on Compute Shader: Introduction, Resources and Addressing.

4. From PDC, you can also download the DirectCompute Hands On Lab.

5. When you are ready to get your hands even dirtier, download the latest Windows DirectX SDK (at the time of writing the latest is dated Feb 2010).

6. Within the SDK you'll find a Compute Shader Overview and samples such as: Basic, Sort, OIT, NBodyGravity, HDR Tone Mapping.

7. Talking of DX11/DirectCompute samples, there are also a couple of good ones on this URL.

8. The documentation of the various APIs is available online. Here are just some good (but far from complete) taster entry points into that: numthreads, SV_DispatchThreadID, SV_GroupThreadID, SV_GroupID, SV_GroupIndex, D3D11CreateDevice, D3DX11CompileFromFile, CreateComputeShader, Dispatch, D3D11_BIND_FLAG, GSSetShader.