AMD Adopts OpenCL 1.0 Specification

AMD Adopts OpenCL 1.0 Specification Ratified by The Khronos Group, Reaffirms Commitment to Open Standards for CPU+GPU Compute

-- Company plans OpenCL-compliant SDK preview release in first half of 2009, giving developers a better, truly open choice for writing applications that can execute on CPUs and GPUs within a system for optimum performance and efficiency --

SIGGRAPH ASIA, SINGAPORE – AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced its intent to rapidly adopt the OpenCL 1.0 programming standard and integrate a compliant compiler and runtime into the free ATI Stream Software Development Kit (SDK).

OpenCL 1.0 was ratified today by the The Khronos Group, an independent standards body with company-members throughout the computing industry. The OpenCL programming standard and associated technologies are aimed at better enabling developers to write vender-neutral applications that can execute on either the CPU or GPU within a system. This allows developers to easily take advantage of whichever processor is best suited for the task at hand.

“The potential benefits of having applications run on both the CPU and GPU within a system are enormous,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, Graphics Products Group, AMD. “Unfortunately, up until now programmers could only choose proprietary programming languages that limited their ability to write vendor-neutral, cross-platform applications. With today’s ratification of OpenCL 1.0, I’m happy to say those days are over. Developers now have a better, truly open choice.”

AMD is a founding and contributing member of the OpenCL working group in The Khronos Group, and has consistently been one of the most vocal and active proponents of the standard. AMD is committed to getting this valuable new technology into the hands of programmers as quickly as possible, and is rapidly evolving its free ATI Stream SDK to make it happen. AMD is making good progress on its OpenCL-compliant offering and plans to release a developer version of the ATI Stream SDK with support for OpenCL 1.0 for content developers in the first half of 2009. Working from early specifications of OpenCL, AMD’s engineering team has already started running code on its initial implementation. 

AMD also continues to improve its Brook+ tools and plans to provide a transition path for those who want to port their Brook+ code to OpenCL. Brook+ is an open source, high-level programming framework provided by AMD as part of the free ATI Stream SDK.
Building on the significant enhancements of ATI Stream SDK 1.3, version 1.4 is being designed to add finer grain data type support, graphics API interoperability, multi-GPU support and thread-level data sharing to Brook+. It is also being enhanced to add improved support for the ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics cards and to include support for several ATI FirePro 3D graphics accelerators. AMD expects to release version 1.4 of the ATI Stream SDK in the first quarter of 2009.

“Lack of standards has hamstrung the use of graphics processors to accelerate computing,” said Gordon Haff, Principal IT advisor, Illuminata. “I therefore view the ratification of the OpenCL specification as an important step toward pushing GPU-accelerated software beyond early adopters and into the hands of mainstream businesses and consumers around the world.”

Taking ATI Stream Mainstream
On November 13, AMD announced its plans to release the free download of ATI Catalyst driver update, version 8.12, which will instantly unlock new ATI Stream acceleration capabilities already built into millions of ATI Radeon graphics cards. The driver is available for download on or around December 10. AMD also plans to make available a free downloadable version of its ATI Avivo Video Converter utility, which allows users of many ATI Radeon HD graphics cards to immediately experience the benefit of ATI Stream technologies when transcoding video. Once released, both can be downloaded at