Scott Bennett bennett at
Sun Nov 22 13:56:46 UTC 2009

     On Sat, 21 Nov 2009 11:28:03 +0000 Anton Shterenlikht <mexas at>
>On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 08:11:57PM +0100, usleepless at wrote:
>> On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 6:16 PM, Daniel C. Dowse <dcdowse at> wrote:
>> > On Fri, 20 Nov 2009 11:46:57 +0000
>> > Anton Shterenlikht <mexas at> wrote:
>> >
>> > > Anybody knows of working GPUs under FBSD on any arch?
>> > > Any advice?
>> > >
>> >
>> > I using a nvidia fx5500 with the latest driver 173.14.22 on i386 and
>> > it works perfect. And it was no pain to get 3d working for games.
>> >
>> > I am still wondering what this thread is actually about: is it about
>> hardware accelerated video or about offloading general computation to the
>> GPU ( CUDA et al. ).
>the latter. My question was about HPC application of GPUs. Use of GPGPUs
>for HPC under linux is growing very fast, with cuda and opencl. However,
>I doubt any GPUs will be supported on fbsd. At least not at this stage.
>Unless somebody knows better?
     Many, many GPUs, including most GPGPUs, are supported under both FreeBSD
and  CUDA on nVidia GPGPUs and Streams/Brook on ATi GPGPUs are not
currently supported under FreeBSD.
     An engineering professor friend of mine has one of nVidia's Tesla cards
and full CUDA support under Windows XP.  He says that the same driver works
for both the Tesla and his CUDA-enabled nVidia graphics card, as well as the
nVidia IGP in his laptop's motherboard.  Somewhere on the web--possibly on
nVidia's web site, but I don't remember anymore--we found something that
seemed to say that the LINUX version of the driver *also* contains the CUDA
support for nVidia GPGPUs.  If the FreeBSD driver is substantially a port of
the LINUX driver, then it's quite likely that the CUDA support is/will be
still in it.  Another hassle, according to my friend, is that the CUDA support
under Windows uses only the Intel C compiler. :-(
     What is definitely not available at present for FreeBSD is the rest of
the CUDA support, namely, a CUDA compiler, a C compiler with hooks for CUDA,
and any associated libraries.
     I have not so far seen any comparable information regarding Streams
driver support on ATi GPGPUs for FreeBSD, much less anything about Brook for
     The last time I checked, which was a few months ago, there were *no*
implementations of OpenCL.  My understanding is that there is now some sort
of "standard" for it that has been agreed upon by all parties involved, but
that there remains no published language definition/reference from which
compilers, etc. might be written for the GPGPUs of both of the major GPU
manufacturers.  So if you're waiting for OpenCL for FreeBSD, don't hold your
breath, stand on narrow ledges far above ground, and so forth while waiting.

                                  Scott Bennett, Comm. ASMELG, CFIAG
* Internet:       bennett at                              *
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