NVIDIA CUDA Features Archive
The list of CUDA features by release.
1. CUDA 11.6 Features
1.1.1. VS2022 Support
CUDA 11.6 officially supports the latest VS2022 as host compiler. A separate Nsight Visual Studio installer 2022.1.1 must be downloaded from here. A future CUDA release will have the Nsight Visual Studio installer with VS2022 support integrated into it.
1.1.2. New instructions in public PTX
New instructions for bit mask creation—BMSK, and sign extension—SZEXT, are added to the public PTX ISA. You can find documentation for these instructions in the PTX ISA guide: BMSK and SZEXT.
1.1.3. Unused Kernel Optimization
In CUDA 11.5, unused kernel pruning was introduced with the potential benefits of reducing binary size and improving performance through more efficient optimizations. This was an opt-in feature but in 11.6, this feature is enabled by default. As mentioned in the 11.5 blog, there is an opt-out flag that can be used in case it becomes necessary for debug purposes or for other special situations.
$ nvcc -rdc=true user.cu testlib.a -o user -Xnvlink -ignore-host-info
1.1.4. New -arch=native option
In addition to the
-arch=all-major options added in CUDA 11.5, NVCC introduced
-arch= native in CUDA 11.5 update 1. This -arch=native option is a convenient way for users to let NVCC determine the right target architecture to compile the CUDA device code to based on the GPU installed on the system. This can be particularly helpful for testing when applications are run on the same system they are compiled in.
1.1.5. Generate PTX from nvlink:
Using the following command line, device linker, nvlink will produce PTX as an output in addition to CUBIN:
nvcc -dlto -dlink -ptx
Device linking by nvlink is the final stage in the CUDA compilation process. Applications that have multiple source translation units have to be compiled in separate compilation mode. LTO (introduced in CUDA 11.4) allowed nvlink to perform optimizations at device link time instead of at compile time so that separately compiled applications with several translation units can be optimized to the same level as whole program compilations with a single translation unit. However, without the option to output PTX, applications that cared about forward compatibility of device code could not benefit from Link Time Optimization or had to constrain the device code to a single source file.
With the option for nvlink that performs LTO to generate the output in PTX, customer applications that require forward compatibility across GPU architectures can span across multiple files and can also take advantage of Link Time Optimization.
1.1.6. Bullseye support
NVCC compiled source code now works with the code coverage tool Bullseye. The code coverage is only for the CPU or the host functions. Code coverage for device function is not supported through bullseye.
1.1.7. INT128 developer tool support
In 11.5, CUDA C++ support for 128 bit was added. In 11.6, developer tools support the datatype as well. With the latest version of libcu++, int 128 data datype is supported by math functions.
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