Feeds

AMD beta seeks CPU-GPU harmony

Hails 'game-changing' OpenCL

High performance access to file storage

AMD has released a free update to its ATI Stream SDK that offers OpenCL support for CPUs, taking the power of that parallel-processing technology one step closer to true usability.

And if you're worried that the company is stepping off the open-standards reservation by doing so, fear not: AMD has submitted the appropriate conformance logs to the consortium managing the OpenCL standard, the Khronos Group, for certification.

OpenCL was described by the Khronos Group when version 1.0 was released last December as "the first open, royalty-free standard for cross-platform, parallel programming of modern processors found in personal computers, servers and handheld/embedded devices."

In a nutshell, OpenCL divides workloads among CPU and GPU cores, accelerating tasks by divvying up processes among the cores, offloading such parallel-data tasks as media, video, audio, and graphics processing that would otherwise be handled by the CPU onto the broad parallel-processing shoulders of a modern GPU.

In a Wednesday announcement, AMD claims that the OpenCL for CPU beta download will make it easier for developers participating in the ATI Stream SDK 2.0 Beta Program to leverage the untapped oomph of multicore x86 CPUs.

In canned statement, AMD SVP Rick Bergman said: "By supporting multi-core CPUs and GPUs with our OpenCL environment, AMD gives developers easy access to both processing resources, so they can efficiently write cross-platform applications for heterogeneous architectures with a single programming interface."

Bergman has a point. Until Intel releases its many-core Larrabee processor in the first half of next year, AMD is the only company that can toss a homegrown OpenCL net over both x86 CPUs and GPUs from its own stable.

Patricia Harrell, AMD's director of Stream Computing, blogs that OpenCL is a "game-changing development." That may not be an overstatement. There's a boatload of underutilized power in most GPU implementations and getting it to work in concert with a CPU - as OpenCL aims to do - could enable such as-yet-unrealized computational dreams as real-time ray-tracing and infallible voice recognition.

All well and good, but our experience with OpenCL has shown it to be a bear to program with. Perhaps AMD's new OpenCL for CPU beta will lessen the hassle of OpenCL coding and make the marriage of CPUs and GPUs a happier one.

A more-definite answer to that question will have to wait until the AMD takes the next ATI Stream SDK out of beta, which is planned for later this year. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.