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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A most interesting use of GPUs, and an "infinte channels" communication scheme.

Taking a break from the nonsense of the maelstrom my exposé on Tripwire Interactive's Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad (if you've not read it and you're a gamer, take a gander, it may save you some money), I checked out some recent papers at one of my favorite brain gyms, the Cornell University Library. Two particularly interesting papers piqued my interest.

The first, "Encoding many channels in the same frequency through radio vorticity: first experimental test." by Fabrizio Tamburini, et al, shows the results of recent experiments (extending work done earlier with lasers) utilizing the orbital angular momentum states of electromagnetic waves to allow a (theoretically) infinite number of channels to be simultaneously transmitted on a single frequency without resorting to any need for dense coding or channel sharing techniques. Fascinating. Do note, this is a pre-print, you will catch a few mistakes. 

The second, "Real-time, fast radio transient searches with GPU de-dispersion."  by A. Magro, et al, demonstrates a most interesting use of GPGPU computing (the use of GPU functionality for highly parallel computation as opposed to its traditional rendering role), in this case Nvidia's CUDA. In this example, a computational problem for exploratory astrophysics, the dispersion of radio signals from distant sources through the inter-stellar medium, is solved through compensatory algorithms. Utilizing the GPU compared to a CPU results in a 50 to 200 times improvement in processing speed, opening the possibility of moving the computations from offline into the real-time realm. As a user of GPGPU since before the term was even used, this is an exciting example of real-world benefits to science of this evolving capability.


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