Sunday, 16 June 2013

What is OpenCL

Posted by Mahesh Doijade
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            OpenCL is an open specification of a low level API and C-like language for writing portable parallel programs for heterogeneous system comprising of varied modern processors such as Central Processing Units (CPUs), Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) and other processors. It is maintained by the non-profit technology consortium Khronos Group. OpenCL has been supported by Apple, Intel, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), IBM, Nvidia, Altera, Samsung, ARM Holdings to name a few.
            OpenCL was initially proposed by Apple and submitted to Khronos Group. OpenCL 1.0 specification was released in end of 2008 and by October 2009, IBM released its first OpenCL implementation. Latest specification is OpenCL 1.2 released in November 2011. OpenCL implementations already exists for AMD and NVIDIA GPUs, x86 CPUs. In principle, OpenCL could also target DSPs, Cell, and perhaps also FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) . Currently, OpenCL Software Development Kits (SDKs) is been provided by Intel, NVIDIA, AMD. So, one can download any one of the mentioned SDKs and start writing parallel programs in OpenCL with help of those. NVIDIA and AMD have also since a couple of years started  releasing all their GPUs compliant with OpenCL. So one can write a single OpenCL program and run it across a wide range of modern processors. The OpenCL example over here provides more insight into the essence of programming in OpenCL. 
            
   

1 comment:

  1. Nice topic to start with and very well explained article..
    Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete