Latest AMD development kit has OpenCL tools for the CPU

— 9:53 AM on August 5, 2009

While much of OpenCL's potential lies in the GPU computing world, the API isn't exclusive to graphics processors. Indeed, AMD says it's now offering beta development tools to let developers write OpenCL apps for its multi-core microprocessors.

The OpenCL for CPU tools are available right now as part of the ATI Stream SDK 2.0 beta, which you can download right from AMD's Developer Central website. AMD offers different versions of the development kit for Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Linux in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. You'll have to sign up to get them, though.

To show off the new capabilities, AMD has posted a video of fluid and particle physics simulations running on a system with four six-core Istanbul Opteron CPUs. Behold:

In the video, AMD's Justin Hensley points out that he's using the exact same program to scale from one processor core to 24—he just limited the number of cores available to the OpenCL runtime. Not only that, but Hensley says the same application could scale to use graphics hardware.

In our interview last week, Khronos President Neil Trevett told us that, eventually, OpenCL should evolve to let developers write applications that dynamically scale across GPU and CPU cores based on load and availability.

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