Khronos Releases OpenCL 2.0 Provisional Specification for Public Review

  Khronos Releases OpenCL 2.0 Provisional Specification for Public Review

     New generation of industry open standard for cross-platform parallel
  programming delivers increased flexibility, functionality and performance


Business Wire

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- July 22, 2013

SIGGRAPH - The Khronos™ Group today announced the ratification and public
release of the OpenCL™ 2.0 provisional specification. OpenCL 2.0 is a
significant evolution of the open, royalty-free standard that is designed to
further simplify cross-platform, parallel programming while enabling a
significantly richer range of algorithms and programming patterns to be easily
accelerated. As the foundation for these increased capabilities, OpenCL 2.0
defines an enhanced execution model and a subset of the C11 and C++11 memory
model, synchronization and atomic operations. The release of the specification
in provisional form is to enable developers and implementers to provide
feedback before specification finalization, which is expected within 6 months.
The OpenCL 2.0 provisional specification and reference cards are available at

“The OpenCL working group has combined developer feedback with emerging
hardware capabilities to create a state-of–the-art parallel programming
platform - OpenCL 2.0,” said Neil Trevett, chair of the OpenCL working group,
president of the Khronos Group and vice president of mobile content at NVIDIA.
“OpenCL continues to gather momentum on both desktop and mobile devices. In
addition to enabling application developers it is providing foundational,
portable acceleration for middleware libraries, engines and higher-level
programming languages that need to take advantage of heterogeneous compute
resources including CPUs, GPUs, DSPs and FPGAs.”

Updates and additions to OpenCL 2.0 include:

Shared Virtual Memory
Host and device kernels can directly share complex, pointer-containing data
structures such as trees and linked lists, providing significant programming
flexibility and eliminating costly data transfers between host and devices.

Dynamic Parallelism
Device kernels can enqueue kernels to the same device with no host
interaction, enabling flexible work scheduling paradigms and avoiding the need
to transfer execution control and data between the device and host, often
significantly offloading host processor bottlenecks.

Generic Address Space
Functions can be written without specifying a named address space for
arguments, especially useful for those arguments that are declared to be a
pointer to a type, eliminating the need for multiple functions to be written
for each named address space used in an application.

Improved image support including sRGB images and 3D image writes, the ability
for kernels to read from and write to the same image, and the creation of
OpenCL images from a mip-mapped or a multi-sampled OpenGL texture for improved
OpenGL interop.

C11 Atomics
A subset of C11 atomics and synchronization operations to enable assignments
in one work-item to be visible to other work-items in a work-group, across
work-groups executing on a device or for sharing data between the OpenCL
device and host.

Pipes are memory objects that store data organized as a FIFO and OpenCL 2.0
provides built-in functions for kernels to read from or write to a pipe,
providing straightforward programming of pipe data structures that can be
highly optimized by OpenCL implementers.

Android Installable Client Driver Extension
Enables OpenCL implementations to be discovered and loaded as a shared object
on Android systems.

OpenCL SPIR 1.2 Provisional Specification
In addition, the OpenCL Working Group also today released the OpenCL SPIR 1.2
provisional specification for public review. ‘SPIR’ stands for Standard
Portable Intermediate Representation and is a portable non-source
representation for OpenCL 1.2 device programs. It enables application
developers to avoid shipping kernel source and to manage the proliferation of
devices and drivers from multiple vendors. OpenCL SPIR will enable consumption
of code from third party compiler front-ends for alternative languages, such
as C++, and is based on LLVM 3.2. Khronos has contributed open source patches
for Clang 3.2 to enable SPIR code generation.

Industry Support
“These 2 new OpenCL specifications will allow software developers to
accelerate a much wider variety of applications on a greater range of devices
than previously possible. OpenCL 2.0 will allow applications to process more
complex data and algorithms in parallel than was possible in previous
standards, while OpenCL SPIR will allow a variety of different programming
languages to be compiled directly into OpenCL code for heterogeneous systems,”
said Andrew Richards, CEO of Codeplay. “These are 2 big steps forwards to
enable software developers to embrace heterogeneous platforms and Codeplay is
actively involved in developing for both already.”

“Intel has been deeply involved in shaping new OpenCL 2.0 features like Shared
Virtual Memory and OpenCL SPIR,” said Jonathan Khazam,vice president and
general manager of Intel's Visual & Parallel Computing Group.”We are very
excited about the improved programmability of OpenCL 2.0 and the potential to
create new experiences with Intel® Iris™ Graphics Products.”

Tony King-Smith, EVP marketing for ImaginationTechnologies, said: “As a
long-standing Promoter, Imagination is delighted to see Khronos release this
major upgrade to the OpenCL API standard. We see an ever widening portfolio of
markets relevant to OpenCL, from mobile and consumer multimedia-rich devices
through automotive infotainment up to advanced cloud servers and
supercomputers. OpenCL is gaining traction among our customers as a means to
deliver high-performance compute on our widely deployed PowerVR GPUs as well
as our MIPS CPUs. Indeed we have been among the first to enable OpenCL in GPUs
for mobile and embedded SoC devices already in production, including some of
the leading smartphones and tablets shipping today. We have also been one of
the first to demonstrate the significant power saving advantages of OpenCL on
GPU running alongside OpenGL ES in real applications – a benefit often
overlooked by application developers today. We look forward to continued
industry momentum behind OpenCL as a key enabling API for GPU compute and
heterogeneous processing.”

“The ability to perform compute-intensive tasks in parallel, using virtually
any processor present in the device opens the door for significant performance
and functionality improvements in several industries from Automotive to
SmartTVs, game consoles and the smartphones. Vivante's GPU family have been
utilizing OpenCL API for long time and we continue to be in forefront to
support this new major API version as it will further improve the flow of
getting even more complex things done, much faster and better,” said Weijin
Dai, CEO of Vivante Corp. “We’re pleased to equip our customers with our GPUs
that are faster, smaller and cooler when we see OpenCL to become a significant
standard in our customers' multi-core implementations."

OpenCL BOF at SIGGRAPH, Anaheim, CA July 24^th 2013
There is an OpenCL BOF “Birds of a Feather” Meeting on Wednesday July 24th at
4-5PM at the Hilton Anaheim, California Ballroom A & B, where attendees are
invited to meet OpenCL implementers and developers and learn more about the
new OpenCL 2.0 specification.

About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable
the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision, sensor
processing and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices.
Khronos standards include OpenGL^®, OpenGL^® ES, WebGL™, OpenCL™, WebCL™,
OpenVX™, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, StreamInput™ and COLLADA™. All Khronos
members are able to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications,
are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able
to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and
applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance
tests. More information is available at

Khronos, DevU, StreamInput, WebGL, WebCL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenVX,
OpenSL ES and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. ASTC is a
trademark of ARM Holdings PLC, OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL
is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks
of Silicon Graphics International used under license by Khronos. All other
product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for
identification and belong to their respective owners.


Horizon PR
Jonathan Hirshon, Principal
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