Feeds

AMD beta seeks CPU-GPU harmony

Hails 'game-changing' OpenCL

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids
Mile-High 'Denver' Tegra K1 successor said to rival PC performance
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.