To GPU Synchronize or Not GPU Synchronize?

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Executive Summary

The Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) has evolved from being a fixed-function processor with programmable stages into a programmable processor with many fixed-function components that deliver massive parallelism. By modifying the GPU's stream processor to support "General-purpose Computation" on the GPU (GPGPU), applications that perform massive vector operations can realize many orders-of-magnitude improvement in performance over a traditional processor, i.e., CPU. However, the breadth of general-purpose computation that can be efficiently supported on a GPU has largely been limited to highly data parallel or task-parallel applications due to the lack of explicit support for communication between Streaming Multiprocessors (SMs) on the GPU.

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