Nvidia's OpenCL-conformant drivers go public

— 6:00 AM on September 29, 2009

In June, around seven months after Khronos released the OpenCL 1.0 spec, Nvidia unveiled its first OpenCL-conformant graphics driver. Despite having Khronos' blessing, however, Nvidia only made the driver available to members of its GPU Computing registered developer program.

Well, the wait is over for everybody else—the driver has become publicly available. Just head to Nvidia's developer site, fill in a form with your name, e-mail address, and company name, and you'll be redirected straight to the download page. There, you'll find drivers for Windows and Linux in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. Nvidia mentions Mac OS X, too, but it says Snow Leopard already includes OpenCL drivers.

Drivers for these three operating systems should run on all CUDA-compliant graphics processors—that means GeForce 8800 series or newer, not to mention Quadro and Tesla products based on the same architecture.

The download page also includes links to the OpenCL Visual Profiler as well as code samples from Nvidia's GPU Computing SDK. In the company's words, the Visual Profiler "provides developers with insight into performance bottlenecks and opportunities." Features include:

  • Profiling of actual hardware signals, kernel efficiency, and instruction issue rate
  • Timing of memory copies between system memory and GPU dedicated memory
  • Customizable graphs to help developers focus in on problem areas
  • Basic auto-analysis to reveal warp serialization problems
  • Easy import/export to CSV for custom analysis
  • Oh, and the code samples cover multi-GPU scaling, as well, so developers shouldn't have too much trouble writing apps that tap into SLI setups.

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