The Guardian is reporting that Apple's next OS revision 'Snow Leopard' will likely have a couple of new technologies to speed up software, without the requirement of new hardware. One is called Grand Central, and reportedly makes better use of the Intel processors in the current line of Macs. The second technology, OpenCL, will offers radical change, as it harnesses the power of the GPU. OpenCL will allow an application to work on whatever GPU the machine contains, on the fly. This has progressed faster than expected, in part because Apple brought the problem to the Khronos Group.
In June 2008, Apple Inc. made news by unexpectedly announcing adoption of OpenCL for its next-generation OS. The entire picture of this strategy is now becoming clear. This is the direct response of a processor manufacturer to the impending risk that its current approach would lead to software developers leaving its platform. Multi-core computers are becoming more popular, GPUs are handling more than just graphics, and many processors with new architecture are emerging. OpenCL, which emerged in an era of processor chaos, is about to give software developers and equipment manufacturers the freedom to choose processors.
The Khronos Group has posted the presentations from Siggraph Asia 2008 online in PDF format. These presentations cover OpenCL, OpenGL, OpenVG and COLLADA. If you were not able to make the show, then these are must read for you.
NVIDIA Corporation today announced its full support for the newly released OpenCL 1.0 specification from the Khronos Group. OpenCL (Open Computing Language) is a new compute API that allows developers to harness the massive parallel computing power of the GPU. The addition of OpenCL is another major milestone in the GPU revolution that gives NVIDIA developers another powerful programming option. You can find the OpenCL specification on the Khronos Group website.
AMD today announced its intent to rapidly adopt the OpenCL 1.0 programming standard and integrate a compliant compiler and runtime into the free ATI Stream Software Development Kit (SDK). OpenCL 1.0 was ratified today by the The Khronos Group. AMD is a founding and contributing member of the OpenCL working group in The Khronos Group, and has consistently been one of the most vocal and active proponents of the standard.
The Khronos™ Group today announced the ratification and public release of the OpenCL™ 1.0 specification, the first open, royalty-free standard for cross-platform, parallel programming of modern processors found in personal computers, servers and handheld/embedded devices. OpenCL enables software developers to take full advantage of a diverse mix of multi-core CPUs, GPUs, Cell-type architectures and other parallel processors such as DSPs to greatly improve speed and responsiveness for a wide spectrum of applications in numerous market categories from gaming and entertainment to scientific and medical software.
Join experts from Khronos for the public launch of the OpenCL 1.0 and OpenVG 1.1 specifications. This day-long "Developer University" is free to SIGGRAPH ASIA attendees and will provide a comprehensive update on the Khronos ecosystem of standards that includes heterogenous parallel programming frameworks and graphics & media APIs for graphics-rich applications and user interfaces on a wide range of systems from supercomputers to mobile devices.
HPC Wire has a great article on OpenCL. The article reviews the organization and process behind OpenCL, gives a short overview of the nature of the proposal, and discusses the implications of OpenCL in the high-performance software development arena. The OpenCL initiative currently being developed by the Khronos Group is a royalty-free standard for parallel programming of heterogeneous systems.
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.”