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OpenCL: Parallel programmers’ new best friend

Apple's Snow Leopard hit the streets friday as the first major OS to support OpenCL. OpenCL, the Open Computing Language, was originally proposed by Apple to support parallel programming on GPUs and handed over to the Khronos Group, the same independent standards organization that manages the OpenGL standard for 3D rendering. Support for OpenCL may start with Snow Leopard but it will go well beyond that. AMD and Nvidia will have OpenCL drivers for their GPUs under Windows and Linux. AMD and Intel will support OpenCL on their CPUs (including Intel's Larrabee). AMD has already shipped its first OpenCL implementation for its Athlon and Opteron processors. For those folks with OpenCL already up and running on their Apple computers under Snow Leopard, there are two benchmark applications out, so you can see just what OpenCL can do for you.

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