Serge Rogatch Serge Rogatch - 2 months ago 22
C++ Question

How to pack bits (efficiently) in CUDA?

I have an array of bytes where each byte is either 0 or 1. Now I want to pack these values into bits, so that 8 original bytes occupy 1 target byte, with original byte 0 going into bit 0, byte 1 into bit 1, etc.
So far I have the following in the kernel:

const uint16_t tid = threadIdx.x;
__shared__ uint8_t packing[cBlockSize];

// ... Computation of the original bytes in packing[tid]
__syncthreads();

if ((tid & 4) == 0)
{
packing[tid] |= packing[tid | 4] << 4;
}
if ((tid & 6) == 0)
{
packing[tid] |= packing[tid | 2] << 2;
}
if ((tid & 7) == 0)
{
pOutput[(tid + blockDim.x*blockIdx.x)>>3] = packing[tid] | (packing[tid | 1] << 1);
}


Is this correct and efficient?

Answer

The __ballot() warp-voting function comes quite handy for this. Assuming that you can redefine pOutput to be of uint32_t type, and that your block size is a multiple of the warp size (32):

unsigned int target = __ballot(packing[tid]);
if (tid % warpSize == 0) {
    pOutput[(tid + blockDim.x*blockIdx.x) / warpSize] = target;
}

Strictly speaking, the if conditional isn't even necessary, as all threads of the warp will write the same data to the same address. So a highly optimized version would just be

pOutput[(tid + blockDim.x*blockIdx.x) / warpSize] = __ballot(packing[tid]);
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