Make matplotlib running on GPU/CUDA

Thank you, Ben.

unfortunately I don’t have experience developing opengl neither, but I’d like to make an attempt riesuming this subject.

I am starting from this:

Can anyone confirm this is the last update we have for this project?

Francesco Faccenda


2017-09-13 16:21 GMT+02:00 Benjamin Root <ben.v.root@…149…>:

A bit of background regarding efforts in this area…

A long time ago, some experiments were done to see if an opengl backend could be made for matplotlib. The results weren’t that great, particularly for text rendering, so the effort was dropped. The core developers all agree that an opengl backend would be neat to have, but we all have limited, if any, experience developing opengl. Furthermore, such a backend would likely require a lot of rapid development and trial-n-error. So, we encouraged others to go develop a package or two separately, with the eye for bringing it back into matplotlib when it was ready. Glumpy and a few other projects were born from that prodding.

VisPy was an attempt to consolidate the development efforts for those projects. The matplotlib devs had very fruitful discussions with some VisPy devs back at SciPy 2015, but the project became non-responsive shortly afterwards.

Ben Root

On Wed, Sep 13, 2017 at 3:31 AM, Francesco Faccenda <f.faccenda86@…149…> wrote:

Thank you Chris for your reply.
I have to admit I already stumbled on VisPy while doing my research on the web. Still, I’ve got a lot of code already working with matplotlib. Indeed, not only I plot data with it, but i manage a lot of mpl events to provide the users usefool tools, like lines picking, tooltips, lines copy/paste, square selectors for multiple selections, context menu and so on. Moreover, I got matplotlib embedded on wxpython as well. While at the beginning few lines were managed and noone complained, now that big amout of data has to be displayed, the non-GPU core of the library is starting to show its limits.

Since matplotlib is a reference library for this kind of applications, I thought it deserved an update in this direction. If anyone is willing to do so, I’m available to discuss possible solutions and also provide any help I can give.

Best regards,

Francesco Faccenda

Matplotlib-devel mailing list


2017-09-13 0:46 GMT+02:00 Chris Barker <chris.barker@…236…>:

On Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 8:47 AM, Francesco Faccenda <f.faccenda86@…149…> wrote:

But there’s a good news, I have a nice GPU available (an NVIDIA Tesla
K40c), so I’d like to know if there is a way to make matplotlib run on it, or
maybe wrap it on some GPU/CUDA wrapper and make it run smoothly.

I tihnk you want VisPy:

It’s a plotting package with a kinda like matplotlib API, built on OpenGL.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s been updated in a while – from teh docs. But the gitHub project is active:

So maybe it’s only the docs that haven’t been updated!

But probably a much better option than trying to shoehorn GPU rendering into MPL.

The problem is that while MPL was designed to be “backend” independent – so it is “easy” to plug in an alternative renderer, the rendering model is not really well suited to GPU rendering – it would take a lot of refactoring to really be able to take advantage of the graphics card.


Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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