AMD announced that it has released the HIP SDK for Windows intending to democratize GPU computing. You no longer must choose between Team CUDA or Team HIP, as the HIP SDK will help developers make CUDA applications run on AMD hardware. Notably, this new SDK will run on a select number of consumer Radeon GPUs.
There has always been a significant divide between developers that work with GPU-accelerated applications. Some prefer Nvidia’s proprietary CUDA API, while others opt for the open-source HIP API. The HIP SDK, part of AMD’s ROCm platform, wants to bridge that gap, allowing developers to convert CUDA applications into C++ code that will work on Nvidia and AMD graphics cards. ROCm targets HPC and AI applications, whereas HIP is for typical desktop applications.
AMD asserts that porting a CUDA application to HIP SDK isn’t challenging since CUDA and HIP are based on C++. Furthermore, the HIP SDK provides tools to help developers speed up the process, such as the HIPIFY toolset that will convert CUDA code into portable HIP C++. The HIP SDK doesn’t work miracles, such as optimizing code. That’s still a manual task that you have to do by yourself.
The HIP SDK works on 32-bit and 64-bit Windows operating systems, including Windows 10 (22H2), Windows 11 (22H2), and Windows Server 2022. According to AMD, the list of compatible graphics cards extends from workstation-grade to mobile gaming. AMD even brags about APUs being on the list. Of course, support also depends on the developer. The chipmaker cites an example of Blender HIP embracing AMD Radeon graphics cards going back to the Vega days.
AMD is still updating the compatibility list, but only ten Radeon graphics cards, between RDNA 3 and RDNA 2, are officially supported thus far. The Radeon Pro W7900, W7800, and W6800 hail from the Radeon Pro lineup. On the consumer end, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX, RX 7900 XT, RX 7600, RX 6950 XT, RX 6900 XT, RX 6800 XT, and RX 6800 support the HIP SDK.
Offering HIP SDK on Windows is a milestone for AMD. Nonetheless, the chipmaker will continue to make HIP SDK better by adding new features in the future and making an effort to deliver updates on par with AMD Software: Pro Edition graphics driver.