During this week’s Siggraph conference, AMD released OpenCL for CPUs as the first x86 manufacturer to do so. But keep your shirts on, since this is not a complete deal – ATI Stream SDK still carries the "beta" moniker [ATI Stream SDK v2.0 Beta]. The new update now includes "OpenCL for CPU", a way to create a path for resource sharing between the central and graphics processors.
The company submitted conformance logs to the Khronos Working Group for certification for both Windows and Linux operating systems. AMD touts to be the only x86 CPU and GPU manufacturer that offers OpenCL development platform, which is true for now – after all, the other two x86 companies don’t have OpenCL-compliant GPUs.
The only thing that is a little bit odd to us is the lack of serious commitment on GPGPU development by AMD. We heard a lot of comments from some partners that AMD still isn’t "in it", but we have no doubt that people such as Janet Matsuda are "cleaning the house" and starting to compete against nVidia as the currently unchallenged leader in GPGPU arena. After all, industry insiders very well know the relationship between nVidia, Apple and OpenCL.
But regardless of the internal political situation between the companies, the fact remains that developers need to have very stable software and hardware support in order to push GPGPU adoption inside consumer and commercial segments. After all, the high-performance segment already adopted GPGPU in mere two years after the first GPGPU cards debuted. Bear in mind that x86 CPU architecture destroyed proprietary RISC architectures in only four years – hence the reason why Intel invested billions in order to get Larrabee started.