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Archive for December, 2008

Ubuntu Please Implement support for OpenCL API

24/12/2008 4 comments



Just heard that the next version of OS-X (Snow Leopard) is going to support using the GPU for number crunching tasks. It’d be absolutely awesome if ubuntu could do this too.

Now that OpenCL 1.0 is final, prioritising support would not only inspire developers to use linux, but also prove that we have the development toolkits, guts and motivation to compete against OSX Snow Leopard and Windows 7. If we don’t support it rapidly, we will only fall further behind OSX, especially since it will give their developers extra time to utilise it properly (we shouldn’t be waiting until its already popular). The faster we get this implemented, the quicker developers can use it, and the faster Ubuntu will be!

For those who don’t know, OpenCL is a royalty-free standard for developers to program general purpose highly parallelised applications over GPU and CPU (combining their power even). Its more advanced then CUDA in that it combines CPU and GPU power and is accessible outside of Nvidia’s video cards.

In summary, OpenCL is expected to become very popular with developers and users, and will make everything damned fast (especially considering we are already seeing video cards with 1600 processing threads, and Intel CPU’s with 16 virtual CPU’s will be out Q3 2009). If every program used OpenCL, processing power will seem almost infinite to end users.

Activision, Blizzard, AMD, Apple, ARM, Broadcom, Electronic Arts, IBM, Intel, Nokia, NVIDIA, Apple and Samsung are all on board. All major gaming companies, CPU and GPU manufacturers are on board. So yes, it will be a slaughter without support… ATI is dropping “close to metal”, and as Nvidia will support OpenCL, CUDA will probably be depreciated slowly too (at the moment they are recommending CUDA only as a higher-level development platform).

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