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Khronos OpenCL 1.0 specification is ready

Posted on Tuesday, December 09 2008 @ 20:44:48 CET by


The Khronos Group announced the ratification and public release of the OpenCL 1.0 specification. This is the first open, royalty-free standard for cross-platform, parallel programming of processors, GPUs, DSPs and other parallel processors found in personal computers, servers and handheld/embedded devices.
OpenCL (Open Computing Language) greatly improves speed and responsiveness for a wide spectrum of applications in numerous market categories from gaming and entertainment to scientific and medical software. Proposed six months ago as a draft specification by Apple, OpenCL has been developed and ratified by industry-leading companies including 3DLABS, Activision Blizzard, AMD, Apple, ARM, Barco, Broadcom, Codeplay, Electronic Arts, Ericsson, Freescale, HI, IBM, Intel Corporation, Imagination Technologies, Kestrel Institute, Motorola, Movidia, Nokia, NVIDIA, QNX, RapidMind, Samsung, Seaweed, TAKUMI, Texas Instruments and Umeå University. The OpenCL 1.0 specification and more details are available at http://www.khronos.org/opencl/.

“The opportunity to effectively unlock the capabilities of new generations of programmable compute and graphics processors drove the unprecedented level of cooperation to refine the initial proposal from Apple into the ratified OpenCL 1.0 specification,” said Neil Trevett, chair of the OpenCL working group, president of the Khronos Group and vice president at NVIDIA. “As an open, cross-platform standard, OpenCL is a fundamental technology for next generation software development that will play a central role in the Khronos API ecosystem and we look forward to seeing implementations within the next year.”

“We are excited about the industry-wide support for OpenCL,” said Bertrand Serlet, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. “Apple developed OpenCL so that any application in Snow Leopard, the next major version of Mac OS X, can harness an amazing amount of computing power previously available only to graphics applications.”

OpenCL enables software developers to take full advantage of a diverse mix of multi-core CPUs, Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), Cell-type architectures and other parallel processors such as Digital Signal Processors (DSPs). OpenCL consists of an API for coordinating parallel computation and a programming language for specifying those computations. Specifically, the OpenCL standard defines:

  • a subset of the C99 programming language with extensions for parallelism;
  • an API for coordinating data and task-based parallel computation across a wide range of heterogeneous processors;
  • numerical requirements based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' IEEE 754 standard;
  • efficient interoperability with OpenGL, OpenGL ES and other graphics APIs.



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