Feldman on OpenCL and the world of GPGPUs

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HPCwire’s Michael Feldman has an interesting piece on the role that open source specifications will play in the world of GPGPUs

As far as technology maturity goes, GPGPU (general-purpose computing on graphics processing units) is just a baby. But there’s already an effort underway to produce an industry standard for this new programming model: OpenCL. With people still kicking the tires on NVIDIA’s CUDA and AMD’s Brook+ GPU programming languages, the effort to come up with a vendor-independent way to access GPUs for computing might seem premature. It isn’t.

…But if OpenCL succeeds, what will become of proprietary solutions like CUDA and Brook+? Wearing his NVIDIA hat, Trevett says his company is fully supportive of the OpenCL effort and they’re going to be careful not to set up CUDA as an OpenCL competitor. He says the two platforms offer essentially the same level of interface, and as far as they’re concerned, the more ways the programming community is able to get to parallel processing goodness, the better it will be for all the players. AMD, likewise, was an early OpenCL advocate and is committed to supporting an implementation on its “stream computing” processors.

His article is an interesting window into the current state of this developing technology.