Author Topic: GPGPU: OpenCL Is Ready For The Heavy Lifting  (Read 7440 times)

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GPGPU: OpenCL Is Ready For The Heavy Lifting
« on: March 11, 2010, 08:34:20 AM »

As stated, the fact that OpenCL is standard weighs heavily in determining its future. Having the support of pretty much the entire computer/video hardware industry helps a bit as well. From an ISV (Independent Software Developer) standpoint, OpenCL is is the gateway to hybrid (CPU/GPU) computing. As anyone with scar tissue in the HPC industry can tell you, investing resources and time into non-standard APIs (Applications Programing Interfaces) is a risky business.


One final feature of OpenCL should not be overlooked. As mentioned, OpenCL supports data-parallelism and task-parallelism. In the hybrid computing world, there is currently an implied assumption that the GPU is a slave to the CPU, that is the GPU cannot run on its own as it must have a CPU present. Given this assumption, one should be able to write OpenCL programs that can adapt to the hardware environment and run minimally on a single CPU (core). Of course it will run slower, but it will still run. If more cores or GPUs are found in a different hardware environment, then an OpenCL program should be able to adapt to the new hardware at run-time. The rather distasteful alternative is separate binaries for various combinations of CPU and GPU resources.