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DirectX Coming to Linux...Sort of

Microsoft is preparing to add the DirectX API support to WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux). The latest Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 will virtualize DirectX to Linux applications running on top of it. WSL is a translation layer for Linux apps to run on top of Windows. Unlike Wine, which attempts to translate Direct3D commands to OpenGL, what Microsoft is proposing is a real DirectX interface for apps in WSL, which can essentially talk to hardware (the host's kernel-mode GPU driver) directly.

To this effect, Microsoft introduced the Linux-edition of DXGkrnl, a new kernel-mode driver for Linux that talks to the DXGkrnl driver of the Windows host. With this, Microsoft is promising to expose the full Direct3D 12, DxCore, and DirectML. It will also serve as a conduit for third party APIs, such as OpenGL, OpenCL, Vulkan, and CUDA. Microsoft expects to release this feature-packed WSL out with WDDM 2.9 (so a future version of Windows 10).

Intel Gen12 Xe DG1 OpenCL Performance Geekbenched

Intel's ambitious Xe graphics architecture is expected to make its first commercial debut as an iGPU that's part of the company's 11th gen Core "Tiger Lake" mobile processors, but it already received a non-commercial distribution as a discrete GPU called the DG1, with Intel shipping it to its independent software vendor ecosystem partners to begin exploratory work on Xe. One such ISV paired the card with a Core i7-8700 processor, and put it through Geekbench. While the Geekbench device identification doesn't mention "DG1," we lean toward the possibility looking at its 96 EU configuration, and 1.50 GHz clock speed, and 3 GB memory.

The Geekbench run only covers OpenCL performance of the selected device: "Intel(R) Gen12 Desktop Graphics Controller." The total score is 55373 points, with 3.53 Gpixels/s in "Sorbel," 1.30 Gpixels/sec in Histogram Equalization, 16 GFLOPs in SFFT, 1.62 GPixels/s in Gaussian Blur, 4.51 Msubwindows/s in Face Detection, 2.88 Gpixels/s in RAW, 327.4 Mpixels/s in DoF, and 13656 FPS in Particle Physics. These scores roughly match the 11 CU Radeon Vega iGPU found in AMD "Picasso" Ryzen 5 3400G processors.

AMD Announces Radeon Pro VII Graphics Card, Brings Back Multi-GPU Bridge

AMD today announced its Radeon Pro VII professional graphics card targeting 3D artists, engineering professionals, broadcast media professionals, and HPC researchers. The card is based on AMD's "Vega 20" multi-chip module that incorporates a 7 nm (TSMC N7) GPU die, along with a 4096-bit wide HBM2 memory interface, and four memory stacks adding up to 16 GB of video memory. The GPU die is configured with 3,840 stream processors across 60 compute units, 240 TMUs, and 64 ROPs. The card is built in a workstation-optimized add-on card form-factor (rear-facing power connectors and lateral-blower cooling solution).

What separates the Radeon Pro VII from last year's Radeon VII is full double precision floating point support, which is 1:2 FP32 throughput compared to the Radeon VII, which is locked to 1:4 FP32. Specifically, the Radeon Pro VII offers 6.55 TFLOPs double-precision floating point performance (vs. 3.36 TFLOPs on the Radeon VII). Another major difference is the physical Infinity Fabric bridge interface, which lets you pair up to two of these cards in a multi-GPU setup to double the memory capacity, to 32 GB. Each GPU has two Infinity Fabric links, running at 1333 MHz, with a per-direction bandwidth of 42 GB/s. This brings the total bidirectional bandwidth to a whopping 168 GB/s—more than twice the PCIe 4.0 x16 limit of 64 GB/s.

Khronos Group Releases OpenCL 3.0

Today, The Khronos Group, an open consortium of industry-leading companies creating advanced interoperability standards, publicly releases the OpenCL 3.0 Provisional Specifications. OpenCL 3.0 realigns the OpenCL roadmap to enable developer-requested functionality to be broadly deployed by hardware vendors, and it significantly increases deployment flexibility by empowering conformant OpenCL implementations to focus on functionality relevant to their target markets. OpenCL 3.0 also integrates subgroup functionality into the core specification, ships with a new OpenCL C 3.0 language specification, uses a new unified specification format, and introduces extensions for asynchronous data copies to enable a new class of embedded processors. The provisional OpenCL 3.0 specifications enable the developer community to provide feedback on GitHub before the specifications and conformance tests are finalized.
OpenCL

Three Unknown NVIDIA GPUs GeekBench Compute Score Leaked, Possibly Ampere?

(Update, March 4th: Another NVIDIA graphics card has been discovered in the Geekbench database, this one featuring a total of 124 CUs. This could amount to some 7,936 CUDA cores, should NVIDIA keep the same 64 CUDA cores per CU - though this has changed in the past, as when NVIDIA halved the number of CUDA cores per CU from Pascal to Turing. The 124 CU graphics card is clocked at 1.1 GHz and features 32 GB of HBM2e, delivering a score of 222,377 points in the Geekbench benchmark. We again stress that these can be just engineering samples, with conservative clocks, and that final performance could be even higher).

NVIDIA is expected to launch its next-generation Ampere lineup of GPUs during the GPU Technology Conference (GTC) event happening from March 22nd to March 26th. Just a few weeks before the release of these new GPUs, a Geekbench 5 compute score measuring OpenCL performance of the unknown GPUs, which we assume are a part of the Ampere lineup, has appeared. Thanks to the twitter user "_rogame" (@_rogame) who obtained a Geekbench database entry, we have some information about the CUDA core configuration, memory, and performance of the upcoming cards.
NVIDIA Ampere CUDA Information NVIDIA Ampere Geekbench

Imagination launches IMG A-Series Graphics Architecture: "The GPU of Everything"

Imagination Technologies announces the tenth generation of its PowerVR graphics architecture, the IMG A-Series. The fastest GPU IP ever released, IMG A-Series evolves the PowerVR GPU architecture to fulfil the graphics and compute needs of the full spectrum of next-generation devices. Designed to be "The GPU of Everything" IMG A-Series is the ultimate solution for multiple markets, from automotive, AIoT, and computing through to DTV/STB/OTT, mobile and server.

The IMG A-Series' multi-dimensional approach to performance scalability ranges from 1 pixel per clock (PPC) parts for the entry-level market right up to 2 TFLOP cores for performance devices, and beyond that to multi-core solutions for cloud applications. Dr. Ron Black, CEO, Imagination Technologies, says: "IMG A-Series is our most important GPU launch since we delivered the first mobile PowerVR GPU 15 years ago and the best GPU IP for mobile ever made. It offers the best performance over sustained time periods and at low power budgets across all markets. It really is the GPU of everything."

AMD Radeon "Navi" OpenCL Bug Makes it Unfit for SETI@Home

A bug with the Radeon RX 5700-series "Navi" OpenCL compute API ICD (installable client driver) is causing the GPUs to crunch incorrect results for distributed compute project SETI@Home. Since there are "many" Navi GPUs crunching the project cross-validating each others' incorrect results, the large volume of incorrect results are able to beat the platform's algorithm and passing statistical validation, "polluting" the SETI@Home database. Some volunteers at the SETI@Home forums, where the the issue is being discussed, advocate banning or limiting results from contributors using these GPUs, until AMD comes out with a fix for its OpenCL driver. SETI@Home is a distributed computing project run by SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), tapping into volunteers' compute power to make sense of radio waves from space.

7nm Intel Xe GPUs Codenamed "Ponte Vecchio"

Intel's first Xe GPU built on the company's 7 nm silicon fabrication process will be codenamed "Ponte Vecchio," according to a VideoCardz report. These are not gaming GPUs, but rather compute accelerators designed for exascale computing, which leverage the company's CXL (Compute Express Link) interconnect that has bandwidth comparable to PCIe gen 4.0, but with scalability features slated to come out with future generations of PCIe. Intel is preparing its first enterprise compute platform featuring these accelerators codenamed "Project Aurora," in which the company will exert end-to-end control over not just the hardware stack, but also the software.

"Project Aurora" combines up to six "Ponte Vecchio" Xe accelerators with up to two Xeon multi-core processors based on the 7 nm "Sapphire Rapids" microarchitecture, and OneAPI, a unifying API that lets a single kind of machine code address both the CPU and GPU. With Intel owning the x86 machine architecture, it's likely that Xe GPUs will feature, among other things, the ability to process x86 instructions. The API will be able to push scalar workloads to the CPU, and and the GPU's scalar units, and vector workloads to the GPU's vector-optimized SIMD units. Intel's main pitch to the compute market could be significantly lowered software costs from API and machine-code unification between the CPU and GPU.
Image Courtesy: Jan Drewes

TechPowerUp Releases GPU-Z v2.21.0

TechPowerUp GPU-Z is a handy graphics subsystem information, diagnostic, and monitoring utility no enthusiast can leave home without, and today we bring you its latest version. The new TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.21.0 adds support for NVIDIA Quadro P500. More importantly, it fixes sensor data readouts being broken for the Radeon VII with Radeon Software 19.5.1 (or later) installed. A broken GPU load sensor for AMD "Raven Ridge" APUs has also been fixed. Lastly, OpenCL support detection has been added for Radeon VII and other graphics cards based on the "Vega 20" MCM. Grab it from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z

The change-log follows.

It Can't Run Crysis: Radeon Instinct MI60 Only Supports Linux

AMD recently announced the Radeon Instinct MI60, a GPU-based data-center compute processor with hardware virtualization features. It takes the crown for "the world's first 7 nm GPU." The company also put out specifications of the "Vega 20" GPU it's based on: 4,096 stream processors, 4096-bit HBM2 memory interface, 1800 MHz engine clock-speed, 1 TB/s memory bandwidth, 7.4 TFLOP/s peak double-precision (FP64) performance, and the works. Here's the kicker: the company isn't launching this accelerator with Windows support. At launch, AMD is only releasing x86-64 Linux drivers, with API support for OpenGL 4.6, Vulkan 1.0, and OpenCL 2.0, along with AMD's ROCm open ecosystem. The lack of display connector already disqualifies this card for most workstation applications, but with the lack of Windows support, it is also the most expensive graphics card that "can't run Crysis." AMD could release Radeon Pro branded graphics cards based on "Vega 20," which will ship with Windows and MacOS drivers.

Apple Deprecates OpenGL and OpenCL from MacOS

Apple, at WWDC 2018, announced that with the latest update to MacOS, its operating system for iMac desktops and MacBooks, the company is deprecating two of the industry's leading APIs, OpenGL and OpenCL, in a bid to boost adoption of its own Metal API. OpenGL and OpenCL applications will continue to function on MacOS 10.14, but the APIs themselves will be deprecated going forward. The removal of OpenGL from future MacOS releases breaks most AAA cross-platform games playable on the Mac, particularly distributed over Steam. The deprecation of OpenCL comes as a surprise to the scientific community, as several computational applications running on Mac Pros will be affected. Adobe Creativity Suite applications take advantage of both APIs. Apple is pushing for Metal's compute-shader features to replace the API.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.4.0 Released

TechPowerUp today posted a quick update to GPU-Z in the wake of some controversy surrounding the reported shader counts of some Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics cards by version 2.3.0, which we released earlier this week. The new TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.4.0 comprehensively updates stream processor count detection of AMD Radeon RX Vega series graphics cards, which means the stream processor and TMU counts of the RX Vega 56 graphics cards, including those that have been flashed with RX Vega 64 video BIOS, should be correctly displayed. In addition, v2.4.0 corrects OpenCL detection on Radeon graphics cards running on certain older drivers.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.4.0

The change-log follows.

Khronos Group to Merge OpenCL With Vulkan API

In a blog post detailing the release of OpenCL 2.2 with SPIR-V 1.2 integration today, Khronos put in an interesting tidbit, saying that "we are also working to converge with, and leverage, the Khronos Vulkan API - merging advanced graphics and compute into a single API." PC Perspective understandably found this worth further looking into, since as it is phrased, it seems as if OpenCL and Vulkan are going to be slowly developed towards parity (until eventually merging with it.)

Khrono's response to PC Perspective's inquiry was clear enough: "The OpenCL working group has taken the decision to converge its roadmap with Vulkan, and use Vulkan as the basis for the next generation of explicit compute APIs - this also provides the opportunity for the OpenCL roadmap to merge graphics and compute."

AMD's Elusive Polaris 12 Makes an Appearance on CompuBench

Reports are going around that AMD's smallest-ever Polaris chip has been seen on the OpenCL pages of CompuBench. Based on a new Polaris 12 GPU (or should it be Polaris 22?), this is a chip which is likely to power an even lower-end of the spectrum than what AMD's RX 460 (and upcoming RX 560 rebrands) already does.

Polaris 12 apparently features 10 Compute Units, which amounts to 640 Stream Processors. Remember that AMD's Polaris 11 chip which powers the RX 460 actually has 1024 stream processors, though only 896 are available for access on retail versions of the card (though some magickery can unlock those latent stream processors.) This means that Polaris 12 essentially packs half as many shaders as Polaris 11 does. The 640 Stream Processors are expected to be clocked at 1302 MHz, and the cards will reportedly ship with up to 4 GB of GDDR5 memory. Expect cards based on this GPU to sell below the RX 460's $99.

AMD Radeon Technology Will Be Available on Google Cloud Platform in 2017

At SC16, AMD announced that Radeon GPU technology will be available to Google Cloud Platform users worldwide. Starting in 2017, Google will use AMD's fastest available single-precision dual GPU compute accelerators, Radeon-based AMD FirePro S9300 x2 Server GPUs, to help accelerate Google Compute Engine and Google Cloud Machine Learning services. AMD FirePro S9300 x2 GPUs can handle highly parallel calculations, including complex medical and financial simulations, seismic and subsurface exploration, machine learning, video rendering and transcoding, and scientific analysis. Google Cloud Platform will make the AMD GPU resources available for all their users around the world.

"Graphics processors represent the best combination of performance and programmability for existing and emerging big data applications," said Raja Koduri, senior vice president and chief architect, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD. "The adoption of AMD GPU technology in Google Cloud Platform is a validation of the progress AMD has made in GPU hardware and our Radeon Open Compute Platform, which is the only fully open source hyperscale GPU compute platform in the world today. We expect that our momentum in GPU computing will continue to accelerate with future hardware and software releases and advances in the ecosystem of middleware and libraries."

AMD Announces ROCm Initiative - High-Performance Computing & Open-Standards

AMD on Monday announced their ROCm initiative. Introduced by AMD's Gregory Stoner, Senior Director for the Radeon Open Compute Initiative, ROCm stands for Radeon Open Compute platforM. This open-standard, high-performance, Hyper Scale computing platform stands on the shoulders of AMD's technological expertise and accomplishments, with cards like the Radeon R9 Nano achieving as much as 46 GFLOPS of peak single-precision performance per Watt.

The natural evolution of AMD's Boltzmann Initiative, ROCm grants developers and coders a platform which allows the leveraging of AMD's GPU solutions through a variety of popular programming languages, such as OpenCL, CUDA, ISO C++ and Python. AMD knows that the hardware is but a single piece in an ecosystem, and that having it without any supporting software is a recipe for failure. As such, AMD's ROCm stands as AMD's push towards HPC by leveraging both its hardware, as well as the support for open-standards and the conversion of otherwise proprietary code.

AMD Open Sources Professional GPU-Optimized Photorealistic Renderer

AMD today announced that its powerful physically-based rendering engine is becoming open source, giving developers access to the source code. As part of GPUOpen, Radeon ProRender (formerly previewed as AMD FireRender) enables creators to bring ideas to life through high-performance applications and workflows enhanced by photorealistic rendering. Alongside Radeon ProRender, developers also have access to Radeon Rays on GPUOpen.com, a high-efficiency, high-performance, heterogeneous ray tracing intersection library for GPU, CPU or APU on virtually any platform. GPUOpen is an AMD initiative designed to assist developers in creating ground-breaking games, professional graphics applications and GPU computing applications with superior performance and lifelike experiences, using no-cost open development tools and software.

Radeon ProRender plugins are available today for many popular 3D content creation applications, including Autodesk 3ds Max, SOLIDWORKS by Dassault Systèmes and Rhino, with Autodesk Maya coming soon. Radeon ProRender works across Windows, OS X and Linux, and supports AMD GPUs, CPUs and APUs as well as those of other vendors.

AMD Announces the FirePro S7100X Hardware-Virtualized GPU for Blade Servers

AMD today announced AMD Multiuser GPU (MxGPU) for blade servers, AMD FirePro S7100X GPU. AMD MxGPU is the industry's first and only hardware-virtualized GPU compliant with the SR-IOV (Single Root I/O Virtualization) PCIe virtualization standard. The AMD FirePro S7100X GPU is a simple, secure solution for graphics virtualization providing workstation-class experience for up to 16 users that is practically indistinguishable from a native desktop experience.

Using AMD Multiuser GPU (MxGPU) technology, the AMD FirePro S7100X GPU harnesses silicon expressly designed for graphics virtualization and conforming with the virtualization industry standard, SR-IOV to allow easy integration into existing hypervisor ecosystems. The AMD FirePro S7100X GPU is the newest addition to the AMD line of graphics virtualization products, designed in an ultra-compact form factor with a TGP of just 100W that makes it ideal for blade server deployments. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is the first to offer the AMD FirePro S7100X GPU in HPE ProLiant WS460c Gen9 Graphics Server Blades available now.

NVIDIA Unveils the Quadro M6000 24GB Graphics Card

NVIDIA announced the Quadro M6000, its new high-end workstation single-GPU graphics card. Based on the GM200 silicon, and leveraging the "Maxwell" GPU architecture, the M6000 maxes out all the hardware features of the chip, featuring 3,072 CUDA cores, 192 TMUs, 96 ROPs, and a 384-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, holding 24 GB of memory, double that of the GeForce GTX TITAN X. Its peak single-precision floating point performance is rated at 7 TFLOP/s.

Where the M6000 differs from its the GTX TITAN X is its workstation-grade features. It drops the HDMI 2.0 connector for a total of four DisplayPort 1.2 connectors, supporting a total of four 4K Ultra HD displays. The dual-link DVI connector stays on. There's also an optional stereoscopic 3D connector. The nView MultiDisplay tech provides more flexible display-head configurations than the ones you find on NVIDIA's consumer graphics GPUs; you also get NVIDIA GPUDirect support, which gives better memory sharing access for multi-GPU systems. The M6000 supports most modern 3D APIs, such as DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, and Vulkan; with compute capabilities over CUDA, OpenCL, and DirectCompute. NVIDIA didn't reveal pricing.

AMD GPUOpen Fuels Seismic Supercomputing Efforts for Geoscience Leader CGG

AMD today announced that CGG, a pioneering global geophysical services and equipment company, has deployed AMD FirePro S9150 server GPUs to accelerate its geoscience oil and gas research efforts, harnessing more than 1 PetaFLOPS of GPU processing power. Employing AMD's HPC GPU Computing software tools available on GPUOpen.com, CGG rapidly converted its in-house NVIDIA CUDA code to OpenCL for seismic data processing running on an AMD FirePro S9150 GPU production cluster, enabling fast, cost-effective GPU-powered research.

"The installation of the large AMD GPU production cluster at CGG is a great example of how AMD's technology prowess in both HPC GPU hardware and in open source software tools combined to deliver incredible results," said Brian Reeves, senior director, product management, AMD Professional Graphics. "Energy research is a demanding and time-intensive task that stands to realize significant benefits from the use of GPU computation. GPUOpen software tools coupled with AMD FirePro S-series hardware enables an efficient and cost-effective solution for rapid data processing that can drive tremendous competitive advantage."

AMD Expands Low-Power G-Series Processor Family

At Embedded World today, AMD announced its 3rd Generation AMD Embedded G-Series SoCs and the Embedded G-Series LX SoC, providing customers a broadened portfolio of performance options. The latest offerings expand developers' ability to scale x86 platforms, starting with the entry-level AMD Embedded G-Series LX SoC, which is pin compatible to the previous generation G-Series SoC devices. Also announced today are two new, higher performing 3rd Generation AMD Embedded G-Series SoCs, codenamed "Prairie Falcon" and "Brown Falcon," which introduce for the first time pin compatibility for G-Series processors with the higher performance AMD Embedded R-Series SoC.

The new products expand upon the low power capabilities of the award-winning AMD Embedded G-Series SoC platform, bringing scalable performance, power, and price across the CPU, GPU, multimedia, and I/O controller hardware, helping to lower development costs for AMD customers. Together, the new G-Series processors deliver immersive, graphically rich experiences across a broad range of platforms, from entry-level to mainstream gaming, digital signage, imaging, and industrial control.

AMD Reveals World's First Hardware-Virtualized GPU Product Line

AMD today revealed the world's first hardware virtualized GPU products -- AMD FirePro S-Series GPUs with Multiuser GPU (MxGPU) technology. AMD's ground-breaking hardware-virtualized GPU architecture delivers an innovative solution in response to emerging user experiences such as remote workstation, cloud gaming, cloud computing, and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).

In the virtualization ecosystem, key components like the CPU, network controller and storage devices are being virtualized in hardware to deliver optimal user experiences, but prior to today the GPU was not hardware virtualized. AMD MxGPU technology, for the first time, brings the modern virtualization industry standard to the GPU hardware. What does this mean? Consistent performance and enhanced security across virtual machines. MxGPU controls GPU scheduling delivering predictable quality of service to the user.

FinalWire Announces AIDA64 v5.60

FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme 5.60 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; the immediate availability of AIDA64 Engineer 5.60 software, a professional diagnostic and benchmarking solution for corporate IT technicians and engineers; the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business 5.60 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Network Audit 5.60 software, a dedicated network audit toolset to collect and manage corporate network inventories.

The new AIDA64 release introduces advanced SMART disk health monitoring, implements enhanced support for Samsung NVMe SSDs and various power supply units, and supports the latest graphics and GPGPU computing technologies by both AMD and NVIDIA.
DOWNLOAD: FinalWire AIDA64 v5.60

AMD Announces the FirePro W4300 Professional Graphics Card

Today at Autodesk University 2015, AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) unveiled the AMD FirePro W4300 for the best Computer-Aided Design (CAD) performance that fits both small form factor (SFF) and tower workstations. The AMD FirePro W4300 card expertly integrates a powerful GPU and 4GB of GDDR5 memory within a low-profile design for installation in SFF as well as full-sized systems. Organizations can now confidently simplify their IT management by standardizing on a single, capable professional graphics solution throughout their workstation deployment.

The AMD FirePro W4300 professional graphics card is optimized for the latest CAD applications including Autodesk AutoCAD, Inventor as well as Revit, Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS and CATIA, PTC Creo, Siemens NX, and many more. Engineering professionals can efficiently work with large geometry-intense models and apply GPU-accelerated features in their projects, such as the new Order Independent Transparency (OIT) mode supported in SOLIDWORKS. Users can help increase productivity by visualizing their workflows across up to six displays, and up to 4K and 5K resolution.

AMD Expands Embedded Graphics Lineup

AMD today announced multiple new discrete AMD Embedded Radeon graphics options suitable for multiple form factors. The suite of products is specifically designed to advance the visual and parallel processing capabilities of embedded applications. The graphics cards represent continued AMD commitment to embedded market innovation, providing engineers with more choices to achieve their design goals, from leading performance to energy efficiency.

The new offerings cover a broad range of needs, from 192 GFLOPS to 3 TFLOPS of single precision performance, and from 20 to less than 95 watts of thermal design power. The products are offered as a Multi-Chip Module (MCM), Mobile PCI Express Module (MXM) and PCIe options, with AMD offering the only MCM solutions. All of these products offer extended support and longevity. The new discrete graphics cards offer the right balance of performance, power and graphics memory size, to meet the needs of most customers.

"The demand for rich, vibrant graphics in embedded systems is greater than ever before, and that demand is growing," said Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD Embedded Solutions. "Our latest additions to the embedded product lineup help designers build mesmerizing user experiences with 4K multi-screen installations and 3-D and interactive displays. In addition, the powerful capabilities of our GPUs can address the toughest parallel compute challenges."
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