May 17, 2009

Photoshop engineers talk GPU: Birds, biplanes, mules, & more

A couple of senior Photoshop engineers have offered sometimes colorful perspectives on the challenges inherent in tapping into graphics processors’ great potential.

  • TGDaily spoke to Photoshop architect Russell Williams and me about Photoshop and the GPU. To illustrate the bottleneck of reading data back from the GPU, Russell “compared this scenario to a company that would like to print local papers in San Jose, but decides to go with a printer in New York. ‘You will have to fly the data to New York, and it’s returned on a bi-plane.'”
  • Imaging Resource conducted a similarly themed interview with Jerry Harris. “It’s hard to actually achieve that theoretical goal when running in parallel,” he said. “So it’s sort of like working with a bunch of mules. You might work with two of them but four or five, forget it. They don’t want to behave. Where a GPU is more like a stream of fish you see in the ocean or a flock of birds. They just seem to do better with more of them. More naturally suited.”

PS: I should reiterate that we’re quite actively engaged with the GPU makers. We’re working together to tune both the hardware & the software sides of the equation, and I see encouraging signs.

Posted by John Nack at 7:41 AM on May 17, 2009

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