AMD announced today that it has submitted its GPU implementation of OpenCL to Khronos (the body that maintains the OpenCL standard) for compliance certification.
“The momentum behind AMD’s OpenCL implementation and ATI Stream technology has been building throughout the year, with an increasing number of software and hardware vendors joining AMD in supporting the open standard,” said Ben Bar-Haim, vice president of AMD software development. “Submitting a GPU conformance candidate to the standards body means we are encouraging software developers to fully utilize the processing capabilities of both our multi-core CPUs and our GPUs to create a more compelling user experience.”
The company’s x86 CPU OpenCL implementation was submitted in August and certified Sep 3. NVIDIA is well ahead of AMD on the GPU implementation of OpenCL, which was certified back in June. AMD is highlighting this move as one that will make it “the only semiconductor provider to offer both GPU and central processing unit (CPU) development environments for OpenCL,” but I don’t see the significance of that per se. OpenCL is a standard, and provided that developers stick to the standard they should be able to use OpenCL on their AMD CPU and on their NVIDIA GPU if they want to with no real performance difference. AMD doesn’t develop an operating system, so task scheduling should stay the same in both cases, and it seems pretty unlikely that they’ll start building hardware that gives extra performance oompf to GPU users who use ATI GPUs on AMD processors. If they did, though, that really would give them an advantage.