updated 01:10 pm EDT, Mon June 14, 2010
OpenCL 1.1 promises speedups
Standards body Khronos Group today rolled out OpenCL 1.1, a new version of the universal general-purpose computing format. It chiefly adds better integration with other devices: OpenCL events can be linked to those in OpenGL to have more math and graphics events start at the same time. Commands can also come from multiple destinations, and memory buffers can be spread across more than one device.
Developers also get more instructions and support, such as three-part vectors, integer clamps, more image formats and calculations that can affect only part of a buffer. OpenCL 1.0 apps and devices should still work with the standard, but not all features will be available.
The specifications and tools to confirm to OpenCL 1.1 are available today, although implementation will depend on both hardware manufacturers and software teams building 1.1 into their hardware. Apple is likely to be one of the earliest adoptees as it was one of the key architects of OpenCL and the first to build it into an OS through Mac OS X Snow Leopard, but Windows, smartphones and other devices should use it for faster computation performance.