Khronos Drives Momentum of Parallel Computing Standard with Release of OpenCL 1.1 Specification

Industry leaders cooperate to evolve cross-platform open standard for heterogeneous parallel programming; OpenCL 1.1 Conformance Tests and C++ wrapper API also released

June 14th 2010 - Beaverton, OR – The Khronos™ Group today announced the ratification and public release of the OpenCL™ 1.1 specification, the latest version of the open, royalty-free standard for cross-platform, parallel programming of modern processors. OpenCL 1.1 provides enhanced performance and functionality for parallel programming in a backwards compatible specification that is the result of cooperation between industry-leading companies. OpenCL working group members include: AMD, Apple, ARM, Blizzard Activision, Broadcom, Codeplay, Electronic Arts, Ericsson, Freescale, Graphic Remedy, IBM, Imagination Technologies, Intel, Kestrel Institute, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Movidius, Nokia, NVIDIA, Petapath, Presagis, Qualcomm, Renesas, S3 Graphics, Seaweed Systems, Sony, ST-Ericsson, STMicroelectronics, Symbian, and Texas Instruments. Today Khronos also announced the release of a C++ wrapper API for use with OpenCL, and the immediate availability of OpenCL 1.1 conformance tests. The OpenCL 1.1 specifications, online reference pages and reference cards are available at www.khronos.org/opencl/.

“The clear commercial opportunity to unleash the power of heterogeneous parallel processing that drove multiple OpenCL 1.0 implementations has also fueled the ongoing industry cooperation to create OpenCL 1.1,” said Neil Trevett, chair of the OpenCL working group, president of the Khronos Group and vice president at NVIDIA. “The OpenCL 1.1 specification is being released 18 months after OpenCL 1.0 to enable programmers to take even more effective advantage of parallel computing resources while protecting their existing investment in OpenCL code.”

OpenCL 1.1 adds significant functionality for enhanced parallel programming flexibility, functionality and performance including:

  • New data types including 3-component vectors and additional image formats;
  • Handling commands from multiple host threads and processing buffers across multiple devices;
  • Operations on regions of a buffer including read, write and copy of 1D, 2D or 3D rectangular regions;
  • Enhanced use of events to drive and control command execution;
  • Additional OpenCL C built-in functions such as integer clamp, shuffle and asynchronous strided copies;
  • Improved OpenGL interoperability through efficient sharing of images and buffers by linking OpenCL and OpenGL events.

Quotes from Working Group Members

“The release of OpenCL 1.1 is coming at a perfect time, capitalizing on the rapidly growing interest in GPU computing across the industry,” said Manju Hegde, corporate vice president, Fusion Experience Program, AMD. “AMD believes that to spur this growth and reassure ISVs and the software development community that they will get the maximum market potential for their products, it is critical for vendors to embrace a multi-vendor, multi-source interface and an industry standard programming model.  As one of the most committed supporters of OpenCL through our ATI Stream Software Development Kit, AMD is poised to unleash the true potential of application acceleration with our AMD Fusion Family of APUs, scheduled for release in 2011.  These APUs are designed to support OpenCL on both the GPU and the CPU, thereby providing an unmatched heterogeneous computing platform.”

“ARM is committed to supporting OpenCL across a range of its products,” said Pete Hutton, vice president technology and systems, Processor Division, ARM. “OpenCL 1.1 builds on the momentum of OpenCL and will accelerate innovation in high-performance compute systems containing GPUs, CPUs and other devices by ARM Partners.”

“Recently, we are seeing definite increase in demand for OpenCL not only for normal applications but also for embedded applications,” said Dr. Akihiro Asahara, operating officer, Software Solution Division at Fixstars Corporation. “OpenCL 1.1 adds more practicality and flexibility, which will surely help gain momentum for OpenCL's wide-spread use in the years to come.”

“Intel is a strong supporter of open industry standards that create developer choice and foster innovation,” said Elliot Garbus, vice president Intel Software and Services Group and general manager Visual Computing Software Division.  “As a contributor to the OpenCL 1.1 specification, Intel is encouraged by its evolution as a programming model and excited about the promise of OpenCL to offer developers flexibility and the power to harness future parallel processing on Intel platforms.”

“Graphic Remedy is proud to be part of the Khronos OpenCL group. We believe that OpenCL is becoming the leading API for the creation of parallel computing applications, which will increase demand for robust debugging and profiling tools,” said Avi Shapira, CEO at Graphic Remedy. “Graphic Remedy is committed to supporting the OpenCL developer community with gDEBugger CL, the new OpenCL Debugger, Profiler and Memory analyzer; this solution will help companies and individuals make the most out of the parallel computing power exposed by current and future hardware.”

“The use of heterogeneous parallel processing to transform computing in fields such as entertainment, science and industry is a trend that shows no signs of slowing, thanks to the wide range of tools that developers have at their disposal today,” said Sanford Russell, general manager of GPU Computing at NVIDIA. “NVIDIA’s full weight is behind OpenCL 1.1, as evidenced by immediate availability of the driver on our website today, along with the industry’s broadest set of tools for taking advantage of NVIDIA GPUs for general purpose computation.”

Khronos OpenCL Members Speak and Demo at SIGGRAPH Los Angeles July 27-29, 2010
Members of the press and developers alike are invited to attend the BOF “Birds of a Feather” on Tuesday, 27 July, 2010 from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm at the SIGGRAPH trade show at Los Angeles Convention Center, Room 402A. There the audience will meet designers and implementers of this significant standard for heterogeneous parallel programming on GPUs and CPUs, and learn how OpenCL inter-operates with OpenGL, enabling advanced, cross-platform, visual computing applications. Guests are also invited to view demos on the Khronos booth #1201 and pickup a free laminated reference card for a number of our APIs, including OpenCL and OpenGL. See more about Khronos Group at SIGGRAPH: http://www.khronos.org/news/events/detail/siggraph-la-2010/

About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGLTM, EGLTM, OpenCLTM, OpenMAXTM, OpenVGTM, OpenSL ESTM, OpenKODETM and COLLADATM. All Khronos members are able to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests. More information is available at http://www.khronos.org/.

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Khronos, OpenKODE, WebGL, OpenVG, OpenSL ES and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc., COLLADA is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners. Products mentioned are based on the published Khronos OpenCL 1.1 Specification, and are expected to pass the Khronos Conformance Testing Process.  Current conformance status can be found at www.khronos.org/conformance.

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