Nikkei Electronics Magazine of Japan has watched Khronos Group’s newest API “OpenCL” since its working group established in June 2008. They had a reporter attend the first technical session of OpenCL at SC08 in Austin, Texas. View this news article in Japanese. Account is required.
Apple first announced at this past June’s Worldwide Developer Conference that OpenCL would be a linchpin of the next major OS X release, code-named Snow Leopard. OpenCL’s addition to the Mac OS would, according to Apple, allow applications to “tap into the vast gigaflops of GPU computing power previously available only to graphics applications.” The OpenCL standard was pushed out in six months. “If you go to some other larger standards bodies, it’s quite normal for a standard to take five years or more,” Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group said. “That’s quite commonplace. You actually have to really push to get it down to eighteen months. Our record was 12 months, up to now; we’ve done this one in six.”
HPCwire has posted a blog on the fast paced OpenCL efforts underway at the Khronos Group. Version 1.0 of OpenCL is currently scheduled to be released in early December at SIGGRAPH Asia 2008 in Singapore. “If they succeed, that’s got to be some kind of industry spec development record—basically from prototype to final in 6 months” wrote Michael Feldman, editor of HPCwire. Khronos will be presenting an OpenCL technical briefing and reception at SC08 on Monday, November 17. Anyone who is interested can attended at no charge. Appetizers and cold beer will be provided!
OpenCL is an open, royalty-free standard being created by the Khronos Group for programming heterogeneous parallel computing across GPUs and CPUs. OpenCL is being driven by industry-leading companies including AMD, Apple, ARM, Codeplay, Ericsson, Freescale, Imagination Technologies, IBM, Intel, Nokia, NVIDIA, Motorola, RapidMind and Texas Instruments. This informal gathering will provide one of the first opportunities for the HPC community to gain an insight into the architecture and direction of this exciting development. Please register early as seating is limited - we look forward to seeing you in Austin!
Recently Apple came to the Khronos Group with a proposal to establish the Heterogeneous Computing Working Group, based on OpenCL which Apple had been working on with companies like Intel, ATI, and NVIDIA. While OpenCL is a heterogeneous solution targeting CPUs and GPUs alike, the article concentrates on the GPU side. In a nut-shell, if you have an ATI or NVIDIA graphics card installed, chances are your current computer has 100 or more processor cores in it, and currently, this Graphics Processor Unit (GPU) only handles graphics. Similarly, this also applies to multi-core SIMD CPUs, which OpenCL can harness to yield many times the performance of a sequential CPU programming model. OpenCL is intended to be an API that will let developers use the GPU and CPU for the compute-intensive portions of their application, across many platforms, from desktop to mobile. “It was an idea whose time had come,” says Neil Trevett, president of Khronos and chairman of the OpenCL TSG.