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Just about every nerd knows that high-performance computing loads can benefit greatly from the GPU's inherent strengths in pro - cessing many parallel tasks. Even Intel has finally taken graphics seriously and its integrated graphics have gotten surprisingly pow - erful for not just gaming, but also compute purposes. But old habits die hard and Intel apparently doesn't want to cede compute perfor - mance to the GPU just yet. As evidence, Intel is introducing the new AVX2 instruction set. AVX2 essentially doubles the performance per cycle over AVX in the original Sandy Bridge CPU. AVX2 won't just benefit supercomputer workloads; theoretically, it will also greatly increase video encoding and gaming performance, as well. INTEL TSX The biggest brain-bender of a feature in Haswell may be the new transactional synchronization extensions, or TSX. TSX is designed to make it far easier to write multithreaded code. One example of where TSX is handy is in changing values in a table. Imagine that you and your co-workers are simultaneously editing, say, a spreadsheet. It doesn't take too long to figure out what happens when Ed needs to change how many transmissions are in stock at the same time that Harold and John decide to do it. too. To prevent utter chaos, there are two routes the programmer can take: The easiest is to lock the entire table (or using our example, the entire spreadsheet] so that only one thread, or worker, can edit it at a time. This is called a coarse-grain lock. The problem here is that now Harold, John, Wai. and the other four workers sit idle while waiting for Ed to update his information in the spreadsheet. To extract more performance, a programmer can slice and dice the entire table into AVX2


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