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AMD debuts OpenCL University Kit

Posted on Wednesday, February 23 2011 @ 13:57:52 CET by

AMD announced the OpenCL University Kit, a new set of materials designed to be used in OpenCL programming courses at universities.
AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced the introduction of the OpenCL™ University Kit, a set of materials that can be leveraged by any university to assist them in teaching a semester course in OpenCL programming.

This effort underscores AMD’s commitment to the educational community, which currently includes a number of strategic research initiatives, to enable the next generation of software developers and programmers with the knowledge needed to lead the era of heterogeneous computing. OpenCL, the only non-proprietary industry standard available today for true heterogeneous computing, helps developers to harness the full compute power of both the CPU and GPU to create innovative applications for vivid computing experiences.

“As a former professor at Washington University in St. Louis, I firmly believe that the university setting is a vital environment to cultivate the best and brightest minds and set them on a path to succeed,” said Manju Hegde, corporate vice president, AMD Fusion Experience Program. “By ensuring that an industry standard like OpenCL is a central element of the education process, we are helping to put the PC application ecosystem in good hands to take full advantage of a heterogeneous computing future.”

“Teaching students to effectively leverage the OpenCL standard involves all the intricacies of parallel programming plus support for a new class of heterogeneous computing devices built on a variety of hardware technologies,” said David Kaeli, professor and associate dean of undergraduate programs, Northeastern University College of Engineering. “The OpenCL University Kit introduced by AMD is an easy tool to enable educators to quickly introduce OpenCL learning into their curriculum, helping them strike a balance between teaching syntax and higher level architectural issues.”

Included in the University Kit is a 13 lecture series, equipped with instructor and speaker notes, as well as code examples where necessary. An advanced understanding of OpenCL is not needed to understand the course materials; students only require a basic knowledge of C/C++ programming. A C/C++ compiler and an OpenCL implementation (such as the AMD APP SDK) are needed to complete the exercises.

OpenCL is gaining popularity in academia, with a number of universities already offering similar OpenCL courses. For more information on the university courses currently offered, please visit the OpenCL Zone here. If you offer a course that you would like to add to the list, you can also do that here.

For students and developers who are interested in presenting technical papers on heterogeneous computing, AMD will be holding its first AMD Fusion Developer Summit from June 13-16 in Seattle, Washington. Proposals can be submitted until February 25. Summit participants will engage in interactive sessions and hands-on labs to deepen their knowledge of advanced CPU and GPU programmability, and gain a better understanding of how software applications can take full advantage of the parallel processing power of APUs, bringing supercomputer-like performance to everyday computing tasks.



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