The Khronos Group announced the availability of technical previews of the new Vulkan™ open standard API for high-efficiency access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs used in a wide variety of devices. This ground-up design, previously referred to as the Next Generation OpenGL Initiative, provides applications direct control over GPU acceleration for maximized performance and predictability, and uses Khronos’ new SPIR-V™ specification for shading language flexibility. Vulkan initial specifications and implementations are expected later this year and any company may participate in Vulkan’s ongoing development by joining Khronos.
Video of Live Vulkan Session
Vulkan Feedback thread: We look forward to hearing from you.
Overview slide: Powerpoint presentation outlining Vulkan
The Khronos Group today announced the ratification and public release of the OpenCL 2.1 provisional specification. OpenCL 2.1 is a significant evolution of the open, royalty-free standard for heterogeneous parallel programming that defines a new kernel language based on a subset of C++ for significantly enhanced programmer productivity, and support for the new Khronos SPIR-V cross-API shader program intermediate language now used by both OpenCL and the new Vulkan graphics API.
Press Release: Khronos Releases OpenCL 2.1 Provisional Specification for Public Review
Video of Live OpenCL Session
OpenCL Feedback thread: We look forward to hearing from you.
Overview slide: Powerpoint presentation outlining OpenCL 2.1
Khronos Releases SPIR-V The first open standard intermediate language for parallel compute and graphics
In another significant announcement today, OpenCL 2.1 and Vulkan™, the new open standard API for high-efficiency access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs, are now sharing core intermediate language technologies resulting in SPIR-V; a revolution in the Khronos Standard Portable Intermediate Representation initially used by OpenCL™, now fully defined by Khronos with native support for shader and kernel features. SPIR-V splits the compiler chain, enabling high-level language front-ends to emit programs in a standardized intermediate form to be ingested by Vulkan or OpenCL drivers. Eliminating the need for a built-in high-level language source compiler significantly reduces driver complexity and will enable a diversity of language front-ends. Additionally, a standardized IR provides a measure of kernel IP protection, accelerated kernel load times and enables developers to use a common language front-end, improving kernel reliability and portability across multiple implementations. You can read more on the SPIR homepage, registry and whitepaper, and give us valuable community feedback in our SPIR forum.
The Computational and Simulation Sciences and eResearch, Annual Conference 2015 was held the second week of February. Neil Trevett recently spoke on how Open Standards are changing the Computational Landscape. The slide deck from the presentation is now online.
Imagination Technologies announces a new area-optimized PowerVR GPU designed to drive high-quality graphics with full OpenGL ES 3.0 functionality into low-cost and space-constrained devices. The new PowerVR G6020 GPU has been specially designed for graphics efficiency in ultra-compact silicon area, obtaining better real device performance and compatibility without unnecessary overhead. It is the smallest member of the PowerVR Series6XE family, with four arithmetic logic unit (ALU) cores and a silicon footprint of 2.2mm2 (28nm process technology at 400MHz).
Microsoft achieves compelling Performance-per-Watt in cloud data center acceleration with OpenCL powered FPGAs
Altera Corporation announced Microsoft is using Altera Arria 10 FPGAs to achieve compelling performance-per-Watt in data center acceleration based on CNN (convolutional neural network) algorithms. This performance is achieved using the open software development language known as OpenCL, or VHDL to code the Arria 10 FPGA and its IEEE754 hard floating point DSP (digital signal processing) blocks.
A short tutorial offering a brief introduction to Khronos SPIR. The tutorial will also touch on the differences between a SPIR binary and an Intel proprietary Intermediate Binary, and demonstrating a couple of ways to create SPIR binaries using tools shipped with Intel INDE and a way of consuming SPIR binaries in your OpenCL program.
The Khronos Group and ImmersiON-VRelia will be sponsoring the annual ITA meeting March 4 at 9AM, at SF Green Space @EEFG. Scheduled speakers include Neil Trevett, President of the Khronos Group and Dr. Jon Peddie of Jon Peddie Research, among others. Neil Trevett will talk about the litmus test for helping determine when the ideology of 'Open Standards' holds true, and how the alliance is working to honor this methodology in their working groups pertaining to standards and industry growth. Later the same day and in the same place, the Khronos Group will be holding an 'OpenCL Ecosystem Advances: OpenCL, SYCL, and SPIR' session and a WebGL Meetup. Although the WebGL meetup is now filled to capacity, there is still some room remaining for the OpenCL venture, and the two special sessions on March 5th for 'Next Generation of Graphics and Compute API'. All of these events are being held at SF Green Space @EEFG in San Francisco.
The International Workshop for OpenCL (IWOCL) papers from 2013 and 2014 are now available online from the ACM digital library. The next IWOCL conference will be held at Stanford University this coming May 12-13. Next week during GDC the Khronos Group is holding an OpenCL session on March 4th to present significant announcements in the OpenCL ecosystem, including SYCL and SPIR.
Intel has updated its graphics drivers for users of 4th generation Core processors. The headline benefits to updating your Haswell based system's drivers is that the integrated graphics component will give you up to 10 per cent better performance in games and up to 30 per cent better performance in OpenCL. This driver update may be particularly interesting to those with systems which rely upon Intel graphics and have no graphic card upgrade options - laptops and devices like the Surface Pro 3.