HIP Matrix Transpose

Learn how to perform Matrix Transpose on CPU and GPUs

Matrix Transpose

The transpose of a matrix is one of the most common methods used for matrix transformation in matrix concepts across linear algebra. The transpose of a matrix is obtained by changing the rows into columns and columns into rows for a given matrix. It is especially useful in applications where inverse and adjoint of matrices are to be obtained.


The transpose of a matrix is a new matrix whose rows are the columns of the original. (This makes the columns of the new matrix the rows of the original). The superscript "T" means "transpose".

Matrix Transpose in CPU

In this program, user is asked to entered the number of rows and columns. The program computes the transpose of the matrix and displays it on the screen.

C++ (GCC 9.2.0)
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Matrix Transpose in GPUs

Now we re-write the same code but use the HIP dialect, note the scabaility of the code and the kernel function. In order to use the HIP framework, we need to add the hip_runtime.h"header file. Sine its c++ api you can add any header file you have been using earlier while writing your c/c++ program. For gpgpu programming, we have host(microprocessor) and the device(gpu).

  • Input  

How it works?

Device side

We will work on device side code first, Here is simple example showing a snippet of HIP device side code:

__global__ void matrixTranspose(float *out,
                                float *in,
                                const int width,
                                const int height)
    int x = hipBlockDim_x * hipBlockIdx_x + hipThreadIdx_x;
    int y = hipBlockDim_y * hipBlockIdx_y + hipThreadIdx_y;

    out[y * width + x] = in[x * height + y];

__global__ keyword is the Function-Type Qualifiers, it is used with functions that are executed on device and are called/launched from the hosts. other function-type qualifiers are: __device__ functions are Executed on the device and Called from the device only __host__ functions are Executed on the host and Called from the host

__host__ can combine with __device__, in which case the function compiles for both the host and device. These functions cannot use the HIP grid coordinate functions (for example, "hipThreadIdx_x", will talk about it latter). A possible workaround is to pass the necessary coordinate info as an argument to the function. __host__ cannot combine with __global__.

__global__ functions are often referred to as kernels, and calling one is termed launching the kernel.

Next keyword is void. HIP __global__ functions must have a void return type. Global functions require the caller to specify an "execution configuration" that includes the grid and block dimensions. The execution configuration can also include other information for the launch, such as the amount of additional shared memory to allocate and the stream where the kernel should execute.

The kernel function begins with int x = hipBlockDim_x * hipBlockIdx_x + hipThreadIdx_x; int y = hipBlockDim_y * hipBlockIdx_y + hipThreadIdx_y; here the keyword hipBlockIdx_x, hipBlockIdx_y and hipBlockIdx_z(not used here) are the built-in functions to identify the threads in a block. The keyword hipBlockDim_x, hipBlockDim_y and hipBlockDim_z(not used here) are to identify the dimensions of the block.

Host side

Now, we'll see how to call the kernel from the host. Inside the main() function, we first defined the pointers(for both, the host-side as well as device). The declaration of device pointer is similar to that of the host. Next, we have hipDeviceProp_t, it is the pre-defined struct for hip device properties. This is followed by hipGetDeviceProperties(&devProp, 0) It is used to extract the device information. The first parameter is the struct, second parameter is the device number to get properties for. Next line print the name of the device.

We allocated memory to the Matrix on host side by using malloc and initiallized it. While in order to allocate memory on device side we will be using hipMalloc, it's quiet similar to that of malloc instruction. After this, we will copy the data to the allocated memory on device-side using hipMemcpy. hipMemcpy(gpuMatrix, Matrix, NUM*sizeof(float), hipMemcpyHostToDevice); here the first parameter is the destination pointer, second is the source pointer, third is the size of memory copy and the last specify the direction on memory copy(which is in this case froom host to device). While in order to transfer memory from device to host, use hipMemcpyDeviceToHost and for device to device memory copy use hipMemcpyDeviceToDevice.

Now, we'll see how to launch the kernel.

                  dim3(THREADS_PER_BLOCK_X, THREADS_PER_BLOCK_Y),
                  0, 0,
                  gpuTransposeMatrix , gpuMatrix, WIDTH ,HEIGHT);

HIP introduces a standard C++ calling convention to pass the execution configuration to the kernel (this convention replaces the Cuda < < < >>> syntax). In HIP,

  • Kernels launch with the "hipLaunchKernelGGL" function
  • The first five parameters to hipLaunchKernelGGL are the following:
    • kernelName: the name of the kernel to launch. To support template kernels which contains "," use the HIP_KERNEL_NAME macro. In current application it's "matrixTranspose".
    • dim3 gridDim: 3D-grid dimensions specifying the number of blocks to launch. In MatrixTranspose sample, it's "dim3(WIDTH/THREADS_PER_BLOCK_X, HEIGHT/THREADS_PER_BLOCK_Y)".
    • dim3 blockDim: 3D-block dimensions specifying the number of threads in each block.In MatrixTranspose sample, it's "dim3(THREADS_PER_BLOCK_X, THREADS_PER_BLOCK_Y)".
    • size_t dynamicShared: amount of additional shared memory to allocate when launching the kernel. In MatrixTranspose sample, it's '0'.
    • hipStream_t: stream where the kernel should execute. A value of 0 corresponds to the NULL stream.In MatrixTranspose sample, it's '0'.
  • Kernel arguments follow these first five parameters. Here, these are gpuTransposeMatrix, gpuMatrix, WIDTH and HEIGHT.

Next, we copy the computed values/data back to the device using the hipMemcpy. Here the last parameter will be hipMemcpyDeviceToHost. After, copying the data from device to memory, we will verify it with the one we computed with the cpu reference funtion. Finally, we will free the memory allocated earlier by using free() for host while for devices we will use hipFree. We are familiar with rest of the code on device-side.