Operations and Sequences#

A rocPRIM operation is a computation over a sequence of objects returning one value (e.g. reduce) , another sequence (e.g. sort) or multiple sequences (e.g. partition). The elements of the sequence could be of any type or class, although template specialization allows rocPRIM to optimize the computations over the usual numerical datatypes. Operations handle sequences by expecting iterators as input and mutable ones as output.

A high level view of the available operations could be consulted there: Summary of the Operations. As you can see, those are really generic operations that are difficult to avoid on a day to day basis.


An important property of a rocPRIM operation is its scope defining at which level of the computing model the processing will take place. That means which parts of the GPU will cooperate together to compute the result. The scope has a direct influence on how the data will be subdivided into chunks to be eventually processed by the computing units or VALUs.

  • Device/Grid the operation and data will be split and dispatched to all the CUs.

  • Block The operation should take place within the same block by the same CU.

  • Warp as above but with a warp and a VALU.

  • Thread The operation will take place sequentially in the same thread. We also call those thread-wide operations Utilities since it perfectly coincides to utility functions we use on a CPU.

The scope has an impact on how the operation is initiated:

  • Device/Grid it is a kernel, thus it is dispatched with its own grid/block dimensions.

  • Block/Wrap/Thread it is a function call, and inherits the dimensions of the current kernel.

This point dictates how synchronization should be done to wait for completion:

  • Device/Grid Synchronization is done via wait lists and queue barriers (stream).

  • Block/Wrap/Thread it is in the same control flow of the caller threads. Synchronization is done via memory barriers.