360iDev 2015 Conference Highlights

Check out some of the best talks and highlights from this year’s 360iDev iOS conference! By Tim Mitra.

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Super Computing for iOS and Macs With Metal – Jeff Biggus


Jeff Biggus presented a well-attended talk on super computing which contained a fascinating overview of the chips that work alongside and separate from the CPU.

Jeff gave a brief history of the chips beginning with the CUDA chip in 2007. In 2008, Apple introduced OpenCL, which permitted the same code to be run on any hardware that supported the OpenCL framework. From there, the market started to fragment. AMD brought out the Mantle API in 2013 for standard CPUs with embedded GPUs. Apple followed this with Metal for Mac and iOS; the Vulkan project began to use AMD’s code and Google decided to go with Vulkan. Jeff’s hope is that Apple also adopts project Vulkan in future.

Jeff brought along a demo project that displayed a Mandelbrot image on the Mac. Using the CPU, zooming in on the Mandelbrot was a sluggish operation. Jeff then demonstrated various combinations of settings in the app and changes to the processing used. Finally, he landed on pure Metal, which uses the GPUs; the Mandelbrot scaled up smoothly at hundreds of processes per second.

In the middle of his very complex talk of maths, chips and technology, Jeff displayed a very welcome image of a puppy! It was a refreshing break in a technical but otherwise great talk on the subject.

Jeff’s Code Examples on GitHub

Where to Go From Here?

I can’t recommend 360iDev highly enough; it’s a great experience for any developer, designer or anyone involved in app production.

The hosts John Wilker, Nicole Wilker, and Tom Ortega make the conference feel like home, and the collective masses are super friendly. No matter what obstacles might come up, I feel I cannot afford to miss this conference. Every year I’ve attended I come away re-energized, enlightened and ready to take on the next year’s work.

Tom Ortega and John Wilker

Tom Ortega and John Wilker

Ray’s said a number of times that 360iDev is one of his favorite iOS conferences — and I’d have to agree. If you’re looking for more hands-on tutorials, check out RWDevCon which runs March 11th-12th, 2016 in Washington D.C.; it and 360iDev are both at the top of my own personal list of conferences.

Let us know what you think! Did you attend? Will you attend next year? Will you step up and submit a talk of your own? Please join the forum discussion below!