Free OpenCL for CPU beta download from AMD

Posted by Tony DeYoung on August 05, 2009

AMD is offering a free OpenCL for CPU beta download as part of the ATI Stream SDK v2.0 Beta Program.  The Stream SDK allows you to take advantage of GPGPU computing and develop your applications in a high-level language -  OpenCL. It allows you to divide software workloads between different hardware elements such as multi-core CPUs, GPUs, and DSPs. 

Below is a video of a 4P six-core AMD Opteron processor-based system (24 total cores) running an OpenCL-based, fluid/particle simulation. The demo runs through enabling progressively more CPU cores and you see the performance scaling.  Impressive.

Normally you think of just the GPU for this kind of computational processing. But reality is you need both the GPU and CPU for optimal performance and OpenCL provides this.  I stole the quote form an AMD blog:

“Of course no application runs entirely on the GPU.  Beyond the obvious need for CPUs to drive execution, most mainstream applications are heterogeneous in nature.  They have some functions that accelerate well on multicore CPUs, and others that are perfectly suited for a GPU’s data parallel architecture.  A good development platform needs to take that into account - this is the difference between GPGPU as a niche accelerator and GPGPU as a new baseline feature, ready for tomorrow’s systems and applications.”

Tags: GPGPU, OpenCL

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