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The major volume and/or super expensive software suppliers have had a free lunch for the past fifteen or more years. Basically making bug fixes and a few feature improvements they got performance boasts from CPU clock and pipeline improvements, plus I/O improvements, and dropping DRAM and disc drive costs with increased capacity – the ISVs have been the biggest benefactors of Moore’s law.
Nvidia has announced its CUDA on x86 technology. Nvidia is enabling developers to move to CUDA gradually. They can develop, debug, and run code on x86 and get started on CUDA even if most of their legacy code is still based on the CPU. By letting developers work with both CPUs and GPUs, Nvidia might also be giving them a chance to see for themselves the advantages of GPUs compared to CPUs.