View Full Version : Help for a beginner
05-15-2011, 11:18 AM
Hi, just joined today because I need to get some basic stuff about open computer language to be able to converse with some new business contacts. But I've browsed this forum for 20 mins and it's too advanced for me so wondering if someone can suggest something. I'll look at what Google or Amazon has got but some practical ideas from the actual users would be helpful please.
05-15-2011, 11:38 AM
Helen, could you be more specific on what you would like to learn about it? If you have any questions I can give them a try.
Don't worry, it's okay to ask non-technical or "stupid" questions :)
05-18-2011, 05:20 AM
I got some suggestions for you.
I think that firstly you need to read some basic materials about what OpenCL is,when to use it. The openCL standard is a very good material for you.
After that I think that you should write some codes using OpenCL to help you better understand OpenCL.
Lastly, I believe reading some essay may be helpful
05-30-2011, 02:09 PM
Hi Guys, thanks for your help so far - sorry, haven't visited this forum for a bit of time as been 'juggling' my new baby and my clients and getting hardly anywhere but have managed some reading.
I don't need much in depth knowledge and with all due respect to Khronos, I did find the tutorials a tad too much. I'm a graduate chemist and one of my major clients is from the chemical industry, unsurprisingly, with one smart young guy whose knowledge of IT exceeds his knowledge of chemistry. I've already addmitted that I'm computer illiterate - it's an affliction common among chemists - but he still assumes a higher level of knowledge than I have.
Khronos mentions an application to spectral analysis for example and there are plenty of other chemical connections scattered around in Google so I think that maybe I'll ride out the storm from this guy and try to pin him down to something specific so I can ask pertitent (but still stupid) quetsions.
05-30-2011, 04:43 PM
That makes sense. I think I can give a 10,000 ft view of what OpenCL is and isn't.
OpenCL is a tool that allows expert software programmers to leverage the processing power of modern PCs. Why is it needed, you may ask? For several decades, the ability of computers to execute serial tasks has roughly doubled every two years. That trend came to a standstill around 2005.
While computers have continued to increase in terms of raw performance since then, this has not translated into significant gains in serial processing. Instead, they have become more proficient at performing parallel processing. What that means is that instead of performing one task in less and less time, they can perform more and more tasks in roughly the same amount of time.
Unfortunately, dividing a big problem into smaller parallel tasks and solving these smaller subtasks can be pretty complicated. This is where OpenCL enters the arena. OpenCL is a tool that makes it a little less difficult to solve parallel problems efficiently.
OpenCL is not a silver bullet. Certain classes of problems can be adapted well to OpenCL and get very significant performance improvements. Others do not map well and see little or no gains.
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