Posts Tagged ‘AMD’

ElcomSoft Half-Switches to OpenCL

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

OpenCL_Artwork

ElcomSoft has recently announced the switch to OpenCL, an open cross-platform architecture offering universal, future-proof accessibility to a wide range of acceleration hardware. We’re actively using GPU acceleration for breaking passwords faster. No issues with NVIDIA hardware, but working with AMD devices has always been a trouble.

So we jumped in, embedding OpenCL support into Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker and Wireless Security Auditor. As an immediate benefit, we were able to add long-awaited support for AMD’s latest generation of graphic accelerators, the AMD Radeon™ HD 7000 Series currently including AMD Radeon™ HD 7750, 7770, 7950, and 7970 models. Headache-free support for future generations of acceleration hardware is icing on the cake.

OpenCL_Benchmark

After switching to OpenCL, we further optimized acceleration code for AMD hardware, squeezing up to 50% more speed out of the same boards. This isn’t something to sniff at, as even a few per cents of performance can save hours when breaking long, complex passwords.

OpenCL vs. CUDA

AMD goes OpenCL. What about NVIDIA? Technically, we could have handled NVIDIA accelerators the same way, via OpenCL (it’s a cross-platform architecture, remember?) In that case, we would be getting a simpler, easier to maintain product line with a single acceleration technology to support.

However, we’re not making a full commitment just yet. While some of us love open-source, publicly maintained cross-platform solutions, these are not always the best thing to do in commercial apps. And for a moment here, we’re not talking about licensing issues. Instead, we’re talking sheer speed. While OpenCL is a great platform, offering future-proof, headache-free support of future acceleration hardware, it’s still an extra abstraction layer sitting between the hardware and our code. It’s great when we’re talking AMD, a company known for a rather inconsistent developer support for its latest hardware; there’s simply no alternative. If we wanted access to their latest state-of-the-art graphic accelerators such as AMD Radeon™ HD 7000 Series boards, it was OpenCL or nothing.

We didn’t have such issues with AMD’s main competitor, NVIDIA. NVIDIA was the first player on this arena, being the first to release graphical accelerators capable of fixed-point calculations. It was also the first to offer non-gaming developers access to sheer computational power of its GPU units by releasing CUDA, an application programming interface enabling developers use its hardware in non-graphical applications. From the very beginning and up to this day, CUDA maintains universal compatibility among the many generations of NVIDIA graphical accelerators. The same simply that can’t be said about AMD.

So is it the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach? Partly, but that’s just one side of the coin. CUDA simply offers better performance than OpenCL. The speed benefit is slight, but it is there, and it’s significant enough to get noticed. We want to squeeze every last bit of performance out of our products and computers’ hardware, and that’s the real reason we’ll be staying with CUDA for as long as it’s supported – or until OpenCL offers performance that can match that of CUDA.

Did we make the switch half-heartedly? Nope. We’re enthusiastic about the future of OpenCL, looking forward to run our software on new acceleration platforms. But we don’t want to abandon our heritage code – especially if it performs better than its replacement!

ElcomSoft at Techno Security Conference and AMD Fusion Developer Summit

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

ElcomSoft had a great time overseas in the US, first at Techno Security Conference in Myrtle Beach, SC and later at AMD Fusion Developer Summit in Bellevue, WA. So it happened to be quite a long visit to the US full of preparations, talks, meetings, new acquaintances, parties and positive emotions (sun and ocean did their work). 

At Techno Security it seemed like we were the only newcomers (maybe partly due to this fact we were so warmly welcomed), as practically everybody knew each other (even visitors) and the whole situation resembled an alumni party in a very positive and friendly atmosphere. (more…)

More on Radeon HD 5000

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Tom’s Hardware is a really good source we can definitely trust, so if you need more details on Radeon HD 5000-series cards (specifications and prices) that are coming soon, just read:

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: September ’09

Update (Sep 16th): GT300 could outperform the Radeon HD5870

Update (Sep 22nd): ATI Radeon HD 5870 pricing and specs list revealed

Update (Sep 23rd): ATI Radeon HD 5870: DirectX 11, Eyefinity, And Serious Speed

AMD vs NVIDIA, next round

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Looking for new password cracking hardware (to take advantage of GPU acceleration)? Wait just a little bit more: new ATI and NVIDIA cards (with DirectX 11) will be available soon.

ATI is going to release Radeon HD 5000 cards (5850, 5870, 5870 X2) in October — well, hopefully. The top one (HD 5870X2: single-PCB, dual-GPU) will retail for $599.

As for NVIDIA’s new GT300, the specifications were revealed in April. In brief, it groups processing cores in sets of 32 (up from 24 in GT200) — up to 512 cores total for the high-end part. If the clocks remain the same as on GT200, that will double the overall performance. And there are other improvements as well: e.g. GT300 cores rely on MIMD-similar functions. Some fresh information about GT300 availability:

You may ask — what about Intel? Well, new Core i5 and i7 (codename Lynnfield) now available. Nothing revolutionary new, just Intel P55 Express Chipset support: integrating both a 16-lane PCI Express 2 graphics port and two-channel memory controller on a single chip (previous chipsets required separate northbridge and southbridge), as well as several minor improvements. More information and some benchmarks at Intel Lynnfield; Core i5 750 and Core i7 870 Evaluation and New Intel Core i5, i7 Processors Product Matrix.

And still [almost] noting about Intel Larrabee, mostly just rumors:

Finally, funny article: NVIDIA to Intel: Your Days Are Numbered :)
 

Fastest GPU(s)

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Just about two weeks ago, ATI has introduced the fastest GPU yet: FirePro V8750. 800 shader engines, 115.2 GB/s memory bandwidth, 2 GB frame buffer memory (GDDR5), two DisplayPort outputs, one DVI output. Thinking about purchasing it? The cost is as high as $1,800. More details at Tom’s Hardware.

Want to compare ATI with NVIDIA? Then read ATI Stream vs. NVIDIA CUDA – GPGPU computing battle royale. Or you can use our Wireless Security Auditor (which supports cards from both manufacturers) for your own tests.

Rumored AMD Phenom II X4 TWKR chips accessible?

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Not long ago I wrote about AMD’s TWKR when the first rumors reached the media. Now we have more news on that. And the sad one is that TWKR still cannot be purchased in retail and most probably won’t be, at least not the ones from the sought-after 100 exemplars that exist today.

Good one?

(more…)

Intel Larrabee, AMD Llano: when?

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

According to NordicHardware, Sapphire Or Zotac Might Launch Larrabee. No further information on Larrabee yet, though; as we already wrote, the Larrabee lauch date is set to 2010. The only news from Intel so far is about i3, i5, i7 CPU naming system: Lynnfield, Clarksfield, Arrandale, Clarkdale; besides, Intel plans shipments of 32nm ‘Clarkdale’ in Q4.

What about ATI? Nothing really new so far; but here is some info on Llano chip; also, in AMD blog, and at Tom’s Hardware: ATI Stream: Finally, CUDA Has Competition.

AMD Phenom II 42 TWKR Black Edition is the new black

Friday, June 19th, 2009

The world is waiting for the specifications of currently most powerful processor – AMD Phenom II 42 TWKR Black Edition aka Formula 1. They say it has an unlocked clock multiplier for ease of overclocking, though consumes 200W and thus requires good cooling. One of the pictures on the website of Maingear PC founder and CEO (Wallace Santos) has a not-for-sale-note which caused a gossip that the new processor is not meant for retail, but probably for direct selling from AMD to “extreme enthusiasts”.

So, let’s wait together for a detailed description. :)

From COMPUTEX TAIPEI

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Sorry I did not write blog for some time… Just returned from one-week vacation at Rhodos (Greece).

I think you’re aware of COMPUTEX TAIPEI — the largest computer exhibition in Asia and the second largest in the world, next to CeBIT in Germany. It is already running; actually; today (June 6th) is the last day. But this year that was almost nothing really new/interesting (from password cracking point of view, I mean) there. Well, just something about NVIDIA Tegra and ION, Intel Atom and AMD DX11 GPU: here is some coverage. And of course, The Ladies of Computex: part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4; plus even some video :)

Hard news from COMPUTEX 2009

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

It looks like AMD has outrun NVIDIA today. Its World’s First Microsoft DirectX® 11 Graphics Processor, presented a few hours ago in Taipei, is currently the best hardware for Windows 7. Catch up, NVIDIA! However not many details of it suggested. At least enjoy the graphics: