AAPL Stock: 118.98 ( + 1.17 )

Printed from

Apple, GPU makers team on OpenCL standard

updated 11:40 am EDT, Tue June 17, 2008

OpenCL Standard

The Khronos Group late yesterday established a new alliance between vendors that could see standards for high performance computing such as OpenCL gain a foothold across many operating systems and hardware platforms. Called the Computer Working Group, the team includes graphics rivals 3DLabs, AMD, and NVIDIA, processor makers such as ARM, Freescale, Intel, and Qualcomm, and end product manufacturers such as Motorola and Nokia, all of whom hope to create and maintain genuinely open and royalty-free standards for using newer graphics hardware to process very demanding compute tasks.

The Working Group isn't limited to a specific standard but is likely to start with the OpenCL standard expected to appear in Mac OS X Snow Leopard. The format is now known to have been proposed by Apple and would let developers tap into both the unused resources for e video chipset as well as the multiple cores of a standard CPU to improve not just business tasks but also more common uses. A fast-enough system using OpenCL could accelerate physics in games or use it to boost image processing speeds, Khronos says.

The move potentially sets up OpenCL as a true standard and could give Macs and mainstream PCs access both to the inbuilt general computing performance of existing video chipsets as well as to imminent graphics and computing cards that are specifically tailored to these tasks. Both NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 200 series and AMD's still unofficial Radeon HD 4800 will both explicitly support non-video processing but are currently tied to proprietary languages that limit the incentive to accelerate specialized code.

OpenCL also potentially broadens the usefulness and operating system support of both AMD's FireStream and NVIDIA's Tesla add-in cards and servers, both of which transform graphics chipsets entirely into dedicated processors for workstation and supercomputer-level tasks.

While Khronos has not said if or when it expects OpenCL to be ratified as a standard by the members of the Computer Working Group, Apple itself plans to launch Snow Leopard in mid-2009 and effectively kick off public accessibility for the technology.

by MacNN Staff



  1. MacnnChester

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So ...

    ... what is the MS proprietary that this would impede?

  1. Merc248

    Joined: Dec 1969


    they're not against MS

    as far as i know, there isn't any. the only programming standards that opencl would "impede" on would be CUDA by NVidia, who is working with apple to develop opencl.

    CUDA is only for NVidia cards, opencl is for every GPGPU.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented