[Numpy-discussion] Use OpenBLAS for the binary releases?

Dag Sverre Seljebotn d.s.seljebotn@astro.uio...
Mon Nov 19 11:42:58 CST 2012

On 11/19/2012 06:12 PM, Sturla Molden wrote:
> I think NumPy and SciPy should consider to use OpenBLAS (a fork of
> GotoBLAS2) instead of ATLAS or f2c'd Netlib BLAS for the binary releases.
> Here are its virtues:
> * Very easy to build: Just a makefile, no configuration script or
> special build tools.
> * Building ATLAS can be a PITA. So why bother?
> * Faster than ATLAS, sometimes faster than MKL.
> * Multithreaded BLAS kernels: OpenMP on Unix, Windows threads on Windows.
> * The quality of its ancestor GotoBLAS is undisputed. I was the BLAS
> implementation of choice for major HPC projects around the World.
> * Free as in BSD licensed.
> * Funded and developed for use in major Chinese HPC projects. Actively
> maintained. (GotoBLAS2 is abandonware.)
> * Open source. The C sources are a pleasure to read, and very easy to
> verify.
> * No OpenMP on Windows means no dependency on pthreads-win32 (an LGPL
> library) when building with MinGW.
> * Builds on Windows with MinGW and MSYS, and perhaps even without MSYS.
> * Cygwin is not needed on Windows (this is just BS from the GotoBLAS
> documentation). Thus, 64-buit builds are possible (I've built it using
> TDM-GCC for Win64 and 32-bit MSYS).


Even on CPUs that are not directly supported, this is at least better 
than reference BLAS.

(On our AMD CPUs, which are too new to have a separate OpenBLAS 
implementation, the implementations for older AMD CPUs still outperform 
at least Intel MKL, because MKL does so poorly on these -- although ACML 
beats them both by a factor 2. And of course on supported CPUs 
(everything Intel and older AMD) OpenBLAS is wonderful.

Dag Sverre

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