By Matthew Dublin
The always über-cool dynamic duo of Clay and Katy over at Parallel Programming Talk has posted a video featuring an interview with Intel's OpenCL technical leader Yariv Aridor.
Originally developed by Apple, OpenCL is a software development framework for writing parallel programs that execute across heterogeneous platforms consisting of CPUs, GPUs, and other processors.
The OpenCL movement is pushed forward by both the open source community and commercial vendors, like Intel. Aridor is one of Intel's group leaders who interfaces with the Khronos Group, a non-profit member-funded consortium at the center of the OpenCL community that is focused on developing standards for the OpenCL model.
OpenCL is a good and admirable idea in theory, but it has yet to really take off. The primary reason is that standardizing one programming approach to work with any type of hardware is a hugely ambitious challenge to grapple with, not just because of the wide variation of processor architectures out there, but processor design, be it for CPUs, GPU, or FPGAs, is forever a moving target.
But Intel's OpenCL software development kit (SDK) aims to level the playing field for OpenCL enthusiasts. Intel's SDK 1.1 for OpenCL supports Windows and Linux as well as most of the OpenCL extensions, including OpenGL — a cross-platform GPU application programming interface.
While OpenCL programmers have the option to write kernels with explicit vector operations, Aridor hopes that the Intel release will eliminate the need for developers to update their source code whenever the underlying processor architecture changes so they can focus on writing simple kernel code.
Aridor says that the most exiting feature of this release is the improved vectorization model, which enables users to take advantage of the SIMD instructions available on Intel CPU architectures.
With their OpenCL project, Aridor says that his OpenCL team wants to "put all the burden of optimized kernel binaries on the OpenCL compiler, leaving the programmers to focus on simple code based on the problem domain..."
Here is the interview, Aridor appears at 6:30: