Businesses could have their PCs running up to 10 times faster, thanks to a Web-based service which has been developed in a project led by University of Bedfordshire researchers.
The University’s Centre for Computer Graphics and Visualisation, in partnership with their University of Groningen (Netherlands) counterparts, has created an online service for computer software designers to make applications run off the graphics card rather than the central processor.
The GPSME Toolkit enables central processing unit (CPU) code to be easily converted into graphic processing unit (GPU) code within minutes.
Running programs off the GPU – fairly common practice in newer PC technology – enables computer systems to perform at a higher level as they can manage thousands of tasks at one time.
The secure-access toolkit has been used to transform the computer systems of four small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Europe. Due to be launched in September, it will soon be available free for designers to use online via www.gp-sme.eu.
Feng Dong, professor of visual computing at the university, has co-ordinated the project named GPSMe, funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme.
He says: “The GPSME Toolkit is unique because it allows software designers, or those with software codes of computer applications, and SMEs without an in-depth understanding of GPUs, to semi-automatically transfer codes from CPU to GPU.
“The toolkit website has easy-to-follow tutorials to help users transfer a wide-range of computer programs so that they now run off the graphics card rather than the CPU, which as many people are now aware enables PCs to run faster.”
Professor Dong believes GPSME will be beneficial because of the “ever-increasing” competition SMEs are facing.
“The recent explosion of GPU power has not been fully utilised by many SMEs, possibly because GPU programming requires specialist skills different from those of conventional programming. GPSME will provide the SME participants with a simple route to accessing GPU power,” he says.
“SMEs are facing increasing competition in the market and GPSME will allow them to greatly improve their products in terms of speed and quality without major overheads.
“GPSME will also support the execution of advanced techniques within acceptable runtimes and hence allow the SMEs to use more complex computing models in their new products. This will bring them major commercial benefits and significantly improve their market positions.”