GPGPU hacking on the Pi

Update: As Andrew mentions in the comments below, we recently made the source for Andrew Holme’s accelerated FFT library available. I’d encourage aspiring Pi GPGPU hackers to take a look at this – it’s an incredibly tight piece of code.

You may have noticed a certain lack of blog action over the last few days. Unfortunately, while I’ve recovered from the curse of Nuttall (though I do sound a little more Sith than usual), Liz has now fallen victim. We hope normal service will be resumed on Monday.


In the meantime, I thought I’d share a couple of GPGPU (General-Purpose programming on Graphic Processing Unit) examples that have appeared since Broadcom released the specs for the VideoCore IV GPU back in February.

The first is an implementation of the SHA-256 hashing algorithm which you’ll find on GitHub and can read about at

The second is Pete Warden’s port of the Deep Belief image recognition SDK to the Pi.


There’s now a very active community dedicated to GPGPU on the Pi. Head on over to Herman Hermitage’s site or check out this forum thread to learn more.


AndrewS avatar

And the the source for the accelerated FFTs got released recently too.

Peter avatar

Are there tools available to build those fft qpu source files ? I would like to make a version that post processes the fft to produce the power spectral density.

Andrew Holme avatar

Broadcom have not released the official QPU assembler; but there are third party assemblers. Unfortunately, these have slightly different directives and mnemonics.

Jonathan avatar

So the image recognition is sort of a google glass like thing for the pi?

funny avatar

This is an excellent news! I installed Deep Belief on my Pi, am going to play with it now! I also wrote instructions to install in my blog

Declan Malone avatar

This is brilliant. I got a Parallella board last week, but now it’s sitting idle while I try to digest all the GPU docs and examples for the Pi. I hope that eman (no idea of real name) gets around to finishing the set of articles on sha256. They’re most informative.

Gee 'The Rabid Inventor' avatar

nice to see the GPU being let out to play :)

AndrewS avatar

…along with your brothers, Pee and Yoo? ;)

Ben Nuttall avatar

I see what you did there

Edoardo Ceccarelli avatar


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