[R-sig-hpc] How to configure R to work with GPUs transparently

Spiers, Brad brad.spiers at bankofamerica.com
Fri Mar 19 18:29:13 CET 2010

   Thanks for your response.

   Here is what culatools told me:

Ticket Name: R installation question
Ticket ID: WATS-14
Reply Submitted: Mar-18-2010 (02:49)
Reply Submitted By: john
Hi Brad,<br />
We're actually not in any way involved with the R project - they are an
end user that has integrated our product.<br /> <br /> Notably, neither
we nor CUBLAS provide a symbol "dgemm_" - that is a CPU call
rather than a GPU call. The Nvidia CUBLAS provides cublasDgemm, which is
the closest thing to that.  I don't know too much about the R-tools but
you might want to also continue to link to a CPU BLAS with -lblas in the
BLAS_LIBS.  The R package might still want to link both CPU and GPU
versions in case a GPU is not present?<br /> <br /> Regards,<br /> John

   I had thought that culatools provided a BLAS interface, but that is
apparently wrong.  From the response above, I thought there might be
some flag in R configuration that I could not find via
googling--something like "--use-GPU" that would have R use some
integrated version of culatools.  However, from the manuals and from
what you're saying, that does not appear to be possible.

   If anyone is aware of such a flag in R--one that will enable the GPU
automatically, without changing code--please let me know.  Thanks.


-----Original Message-----
From: Dirk Eddelbuettel [mailto:edd at debian.org] 
Sent: Friday, March 19, 2010 1:24 PM
To: Spiers, Brad
Cc: r-sig-hpc at r-project.org
Subject: Re: [R-sig-hpc] How to configure R to work with GPUs

On 19 March 2010 at 11:55, Spiers, Brad wrote:
|    I am trying to get R to work with an NVIDIA GPU transparently.  I
| know about gputools, but they require changing R scripts to include
| "gpu" before the relevant calls.  


In order to execute code on the GPU instead of the CPU, you actually
need to
have code that the GPU understands and that is written in a way the such
the GPU features are taken advantage of.

And sadly, there is no magic wand that takes existing code and just
makes it
work there.  Just how you can't just execute your (x86) Windows binaries
your (old PPC) Mac etc pp.

|    According to the Cula Tools folks, R is actually a client of
| so there should be some way to get R to work with GPUs natively.  I

Can you quote what they state, please?

| seriously doubt that I am the first person to try this.  If someone
| done this, could you please share how you have done so?  If you know
| that this does not work, could you please confirm?  Thanks.


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