updated 08:30 am EDT, Wed April 27, 2011
AMD working to tune Fusion processors for OpenCL
AMD and MulticoreWare on Wednesday said they were working together to help optimize AMD's Fusion processors for OpenCL. Multicoreware will produce "advanced tools" to help make software that can use the graphics core woven into the processor to speed up general purpose computing. The techniques would make the most of the available hardware including both through keeping the graphics and CPU busy as well as by optimizing apps to balance them properly on multiple cores.
The two would make sure the tools would work across "all relevant vendor hardware." Tools would be available at the end of 2011, leaving the first results to show in 2012.
AMD has been a supporter of OpenCL in the past, but the decision to optimize primarily for the standard more than Microsoft's DirectCompute points to plans for cross-platform support. MulticoreWare's current tools publicly support Linux and Windows 7, but the strongest proponent of OpenCL at the OS level has so far been Apple. Mac OS X Snow Leopard was the first OS to have the general purpose acceleration standard built-in.
Rumors have swirled of Apple talking to AMD to use its processors, but nothing has emerged so far. Fusion isn't expected to be a staple of AMD's high-end Opteron processors but should pervade many of its mainstream desktop and notebook chips.