In response to AMD’s 48 core contest.
I am working on an open source game, and I have learned that there are a few hurdles open source projects have to go through to get real working results. If I were given this 48 core server, I would do everything In my power to enable other open source projects. I would share every resource I could spare.
I am already working on setting up a series of virtual machines that will compile software, and automatically build packages for a variety of Linux distributions and Windows. For the game project we are starting to track down things like software dependencies and package naming inconsistencies. When we are done with our first game “Catch!” we will have an interesting build system that will easily accept one link to our source code repository and build installable packages for Windows and the top 20 or so Linux distributions. I think this software system would perform really well with 48 cores that each support Hyper-V. After setting up a clean and easy to use web interface, calling it the Open Build and Packaging System, and letting anyone use it, what else could I do?
Next, I would sell the copy of Windows and buy a few ATI graphics cards with the proceeds. Right now the Open Source AMD/ATI graphics drivers could use some work (and the closed ones have problems too). On my laptop I have an ATI Mobility Radeon 5730 and I am stuck with an “AMD Unsupported Hardware” watermark on my screen. If I donate the cards and maybe some cash, to the AMD Open Source driver group, maybe I can help. With my help and their newfound ability to make all those packages, they might free up some time to catch up on the drivers.
Even with extra resources, some time will pass before development is complete. When complete The Open Build and Packaging System will be constantly tapping out all 48 cores. I will need some more horse power. OpenCL will be supported by the Open source drivers and maybe I could pitch in some coding time with GCC. There has been a little bit of talk about getting GCC to use OpenCL, maybe I could help make that happen, then I could drop in some of the latest and greatest cards and continue servicing the Free Software Community for the foreseeable future.
Finally, Once I have helped everybody else out, I think I will help myself by helping everybody else out some more. I understand that AMD is working on an Open Physics Initiative, which will help enhance Bullet Physic’s GPU support. It is too far forward to say what I will do, but likely I will do some bugfixes, packaging, and multi-core testing of Bullet. Anything I add to bullet, something my game already uses, will directly benefit myself, and any the community as a whole. Then there is my old AI research, Aritificial Neural Networks with OpenCL…