OpenCL 1.0 Spec Released, Adopters Flock

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The Khronos Group has announced the ratification and subsequent public release of the OpenCL 1.0 specification.  For those not in the know, OpenCL is a royalty-free standard for cross-platform, parallel programming of modern processors.  In this case, “processors” is used loosely to refer to standard scalar CPUs, GPUs and other such silicon madness.

Six months ago, Apple Computer proposed the initial draft specification.  Since then, the likes of 3DLABS, Activision, Blizzard, AMD, Apple, ARM, Barco, Broadcom, Codeplay, Electronic Arts, Ericsson, Freescale, HI, IBM, Intel, Imagination Technologies, Kestrel Institute, Motorola, Movidia, Nokia, NVIDIA, QNX, RapidMind, Samsung, Seaweed, TAKUMI, Texas Instruments and Umea University have announced acceptance.

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.”

Big news from a few of the supporters.  NVIDIA has announced that their CUDA programming construct will seamlessly support OpenCL.  This could potentially be huge for those already well versed in the CUDA/Tesla software/hardware platform.  AMD chimed in as well indicating that they were working on their own set of tools/libraries with OpenCL capability.

The potential benefits of having applications run on both the CPU and GPU within a system are enormous,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, Graphics Products Group, AMD. “Unfortunately, up until now programmers could only choose proprietary programming languages that limited their ability to write vendor-neutral, cross-platform applications. With today’s ratification of OpenCL 1.0, I’m happy to say those days are over. Developers now have a better, truly open choice.”

For more info on OpenCL, check out the official website here.  For more coverage, check out press releases at HPCWire here, here and here.


  1. […] its early access program (we’ve covered OpenCL before in lots of places; here is the 1.0 spec announcement) NVIDIA Corporation, the inventor of the GPU, today announced the release of its OpenCL driver and […]