ARM And AMD Partner On OpenCL

There is the persistent rumor that AMD may be licensing ARM architecture to make its way into the smartphone tablet space, but there was no confirmation of such a move at the conference. Instead, ARM and AMD are partnering in the OpenCL space to promote the craetion of GPU-accelerated apps.

At its conference, AMD announced a set of new OpenCL development tools that cater specifically to its Fusion APUs. The most interesting part of this announcement is the fact it was made by Manju Hegde, AMD's corporate vice president of AMD's Fusion experience program. Some readers may remember Hegde as the founder and CEO of Ageia, the company that invented the PhysX chip. Ageia was acquired by Nvidia in early 2008 and Hegde is now at AMD pitching OpenCL support, which is in direct competition to Nvidia's CUDA.

ARM's Jem Davies delivered a keynote at AMD's Fusion event and while there are obvious competitive edges between ARM and x86 products, the executive stresses that ARM and x86 are the only remaining "relevant" CPU architectures. Davies also pitched a hybrid processor approach that outlined CPU cores, parallel arrays and circuits that are dedicated to very specific functions, which obviously would favor highly parallel software that is written in, for example, OpenCL. It is a somewhat surreal experience to see ARM speaking at AMD's (x86) developer event and AMD could have simply invited ARM to annoy Intel. To see the partnership evolve is interesting, but the benefit to developers at the event was very limited.

I still believe that there is much more to come and those AMD-ARM rumors have some substance.

  • HansVonOhain
    If only the programs were to use OpenCL. I wish all the best to AMD! You will catch up!
  • clonazepam
    "and AMD could have simply invited ARM to annoy Intel."

    Didn't AMD, in the past, drive to press event(s) meant for Intel, and whisk 'em off (the press) to AMD's own showing right under intel's nose? I think they were lured off b/c AMD had actual working hardware. Might of been the early battles of 64 architecture... I cant recall.

    I just want to say I completely condone and support this type of shenanigans.
  • Flameout
    so opencl is better than opengl?
  • theorland
    one step forward to event intel vs the world
  • JustinHD81
    Flameoutso opencl is better than opengl?Open Compute Language v Open Graphics Language....former for doing general processing on a graphics card, the latter a graphics standard that used to compete with DirectX. Different standards for different purposes.
  • jprahman
    OpenCL is an API for parallel computing on both CPUs and GPUs, while OpenGL is an 3D graphics API. They have nothing in common other than that they leverage GPUs to get their work done.
  • iam2thecrowe
    I have been waiting a long time to finally see some more emphasis on OpenCL; it is a very good step in the right direction.
  • verbalizer
    here we go.!
    time to play ball.
  • Filiprino
    This can be awesome. OpenCL would be über-nice if it reaches a good state-of-the-art. CUDA is only for NVIDIA cards while OpenCL can run on all cards and platforms (DirectCompute is DirectX only).
  • No thanks, there's no way OpenCL will become mainstream. If they want to leverage distributed computing on GPUs, do so at the compiler level so that we can leverage the already existing concurrent programming languages like OCaml, Scala, Erlang... There is no way more than a few individuals will bother going to OpenCL. Instead I'm simply going to use Tilera with its 64 cores, or Intel's Knight's Corner, which will allow me to use existing standard programming languages on their many-core hardware. Intel will simply ramp up its production of Knights Corner to 128, 256... cores, and that will be the end for OpenCL and CUDA.