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.
Collada.NET is a reliable and robust solution for reading, manipulating, and saving collada scenes, animations or models in .NET applications including vertex manipulation, texture library access, support for animation keys, and more. The extensible 100% C# COLLADA reader and writer that eliminates the need to marshal in from the COLLADA DOM. While trying to code a 100% C# toolset, it didn’t take long for us to tire with the constant need and complexity of marshaling in from the COLLADA DOM. We scoured the web searching for a .NET solution, preferably in C#, that would enable us to more easily read, write and manipulate data but never found anything we were completely happy with. We decided to create our own .NET solution in C#.
We’re using our COLLADA.net library in our MogBox tool to reprocess complex 3D content as seen in this demo video. Our COLLADA.net library made it possible for us to build this strictly C# tool that truly accomplishes some amazing feats reprocessing complex 3D content. We believe in this community and that through sharing technology, the whole can become stronger. We simply can’t express how much we’ve enjoyed being able to stay in a .net environment without having to marshal anything. We hope that by releasing our solution, others will be able to get further in their own development efforts more quickly. You can learn more about our COLLADA.net solution on our web page.
Google SketchUp will switch to COLLADA for its official file format in the upcoming free version of SketchUp. John Bacus, SketchUp Product Manager, wrote "In our next release, we're going to make COLLADA an official first-class format for all modelers. You'll be able to import and export COLLADA models, as well as COLLADA models wrapped up in the KMZ format for Google Earth, with any version of SketchUp."
A member of the COLLADA message boards has written a detailed tutorial for programmers on implementing Skeletal Animations. Using COLLADA along with C++ and OpenGL, this tutorial will start a programmer with a high level overview in reading and understanding COLLADA file formats, through to a complete implementation using C++ and OpenGL.
MacResearch has posted part two in their series of OpenCL tutorials that we first spoke of here. This second installment gives an overview of OpenCL Objects and the steps involved in running an OpenCL application.
Nokia's new N900 pocket computer is built around the powerful ARM Cortex-A8 processor, with up to 1GB of application memory and OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics acceleration and true multi-tasking as on a PC. Other hardware highlights include a high-res WVGA touchscreen, full physical slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 32GB of storage expandable up to 48GB with a microSD card, a 5-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, built-in A-GPS, an FM transmitter, and up to 9 hours of talk time.
PyOpenCL has been released. This OpenCL wrapper for Python has complete documentation and a wiki setup. Key features of PyOpenCL are: object cleanup tied to lifetime of objects; the full power of OpenCL’s API at your disposal with every obscure get_info() query and all CL calls are accessible; automatic error checking; base layer is written in C++; complete documentation; a liberal open-source and free for commercial, academic, and private use under the MIT/X11 license. If you have feedback on this wrapper, you can contribute to a live discussion in the Khronos Message Boards.
With the launch of Snow Leopard this Friday, now is the time to start getting revved up for some of the new technologies coming with this release. One of them, OpenCL. MacResearch.org has done a great overview of what OpenCL is and a beginners tutorial on how it works and how to use it.
AMD Architect Benedict Gaster recently wrote an 'Hello World' tutorial providing a simple introduction to OpenCL. "OpenCL is a young technology, and, while a specification has been published, there are currently few documents that provide a basic introduction with examples. This article helps make OpenCL easier to understand and implement."
If you missed the "Beyond Programmable Shading" courses at Siggraph 2009, or you missed Siggraph 2009 altogether, no worries: the course notes and PDF slide presentations are now available online compliments of the Institute for Data Analysis and Visualization at UCDavis University of California. Aaron Lefohn from Intel and Mike Houston from AMD organized these courses which included experts on advanced rendering, graphics hardware, and parallel computing for graphics. Panelists from the Q&A were from DICE, Epic Games, Stanford Univeristy, Chalmers University and MIT.