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GPGPU is the future: Khronos releases OpenCL API

First day of inaugural Siggraph Asia 2008 conference came with a bang. Few months after announcing the work on the spec, Khronos group came up with the OpenCL 1.0 specification. GPGPU is now officially covered with a open-source, royalty-free cross-platform API that enables parallel programming on the GPUs, regardless from whom they’re coming from.

This specification covers all GPGPU-capable hardware, regardless of that hardware being in servers, workstations, desktops, notebooks or handhelds – if your GPU is able to compute, the manufacturer only needs to adopt OpenCL support in the driver and that’s that.

That should not be an issue, with AMD/ATI and Nvidia strongly standing behind the standard. Computing engineers on both sides bickered about Brooke+, CAL or CUDA in the past, but both makers are firmly behind OpenCL as the way for the future.

So far, companies that developed and ratified this initial spec include 3Dlabs, Activision Blizzard, AMD, Apple, ARM, BARCO, Broadcom, Codeplay, Electronic Arts, Ericsson, Freescale, HI, IBM, Intel Corporation, Imagination Technologies, Kestrel Institute, Motorola, Movidia, Nokia, NVIDIA, QNX, RapidMind, Samsung, Seaweed, TAKUMI, Texas Instruments and Umea University.

You can learn more at the official page of OpenCL API, but I wasn’t able to check the site as it was hammered down with numerous requests (this story was written at 10:05AM CET).

  • Boris

    Yet only a little time and the main CPU will become the second chipset, and GPU will assume all the essential tasks, at least I think so:)

  • Well, we’ve seen that happen – co-processors and various add-ons of the past became integrated inside the CPU.

    The future is heterogeneous, otherwise Intel would not invest billions of dollars into bringing LRB to life 😉

    I would not say that CPU will perish, but its role will diminish, regardless of what people today say. Tomorrow is all about visual, and parallel programming. AMD, Intel, Nvidia are all leading us to a new future, and I can’t wait for tomorrow… Windows 7 will be a big step forward, but not the only one 😉

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