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The Return of the Vector Processor

Article Source Linux Magazine
October 14, 2009, 9:05 am

In last weeks installment, I talked about Nvidia and the subsequent announcement of their new Fermi GPU. I also invited you to take a look at the Fermi White Paper. I’m not going to rehash the white paper here, but I do suggest reading it.

Before I dive into Fermi the GPU, I wanted to take a moment and pay tribute to Enrico Fermi the person — for whom the new GPU was named. For you young whippersnappers out there, Enrico Fermi is one of the giants of physics. He was instrumental in advancing physics on many fronts including quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics, and statistical mechanics (a favorite subject of mine). He had a rare combination of talent that allowed him to be both an excellent theorist and experimentalist. His legacy is legendary as he has an element named after him (Fermium, a synthetic element created in 1952), a national lab (the Fermi National Accelerator Lab), and a class of particles that bare his name (fermions). No lightweight this Fermi fellow...

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