LibreOffice aims to speed spreadsheets with AMD GPU optimization

Calc is about to get faster.

The makers of LibreOffice are teaming up with AMD so that the open source office suite can take greater advantage of graphics processing units (GPUs). The partnership is geared toward optimization for AMD’s upcoming Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA), but LibreOffice developers say their work will make spreadsheets go faster for users of just about any type of computer.

The news, announced today, was spurred by AMD joining the Document Foundation board—the group behind LibreOffice—and providing financial assistance. “We traditionally had a big performance problem in Calc [the LibreOffice spreadsheet application] for large data sets,” Michael Meeks, LibreOffice developer and distinguished engineer for Attachmate’s SUSE business unit, told Ars. “My hope is we not only eliminate that problem but that we do significantly better.”

LibreOffice has not generally been able to take advantage of the horsepower in GPUs, Meeks said; AMD’s HSA helps address this problem. “HSA is an innovative computing architecture that enables CPU, GPU, and other processors to work together in harmony on a single piece of silicon by seamlessly moving the right tasks to the best suited processing element,” the Document Foundation said in an announcement. “This makes it possible for larger, more complex applications to take advantage of the power that has traditionally been reserved for more focused tasks.”

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