AMD Releases App SDK 3.0 with OpenCL 2.0

Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | August 30, 2015 - 09:14 PM |
Tagged: amd, carrizo, Fiji, opencl, opencl 2.0

Apart from manufacturers with a heavy first-party focus, such as Apple and Nintendo, hardware is useless without developer support. In this case, AMD has updated their App SDK to include support for OpenCL 2.0, with code samples. It also updates the SDK for Windows 10, Carrizo, and Fiji, but it is not entirely clear how.

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That said, OpenCL is important to those two products. Fiji has a very high compute throughput compared to any other GPU at the moment, and its memory bandwidth is often even more important for GPGPU workloads. It is also useful for Carrizo, because parallel compute and HSA features are what make it a unique product. AMD has been creating first-party software software and helping popular third-party developers such as Adobe, but a little support to the world at large could bring a killer application or two, especially from the open-source community.

The SDK has been available in pre-release form for quite some time now, but it is finally graduated out of beta. OpenCL 2.0 allows for work to be generated on the GPU, which is especially useful for tasks that vary upon previous results without contacting the CPU again.

Source: AMD

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August 30, 2015 | 11:49 PM - Posted by JL (not verified)

I still remember the CTM, OpenCL 1.0 claim for HD4870.....end up getting none of those....

AMD = letting the other guys to do the implementation for them at no cost.

August 31, 2015 | 04:05 AM - Posted by joey (not verified)

you're very very right.Just like mantle goes to vulkan and directx 12, but also goes to liquidVR. It's all because amd smart or has little budget, or they're busy chasing 20W apu that has 10 TFLOPS double precission. what do you think?

August 31, 2015 | 09:14 AM - Posted by JL (not verified)

I just hope this time, AMD stuff actually being used by developers instead of being sidelined into oblivion.

At least my HD4870 was used to crack some hash and simple WPA2 password last time using opencl 1.0. (with some troublesome workaround on driver issue)

August 31, 2015 | 11:24 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

AMD needs to get with supporting more open source drivers, and some demos of Vulkan would be nice. It's good that AMD did the driver work to assist the Blender foundation in getting its first initial support for cycles rendering and AMD's GCN based GPUs. AMD's HSA open standards 1.0 certified GPUs are going to be good for those that want the get ray tracing workloads more off of the CPU and onto the GPU and forever allow Graphics software users to free themselves of any total dependency on the CPU for ray tracing and other graphics workloads. Any CPU lacks the necessary parallel resources that lend themselves to doing the massive amounts of ray interaction calculations that are needed for realistic rendering in a short amount of time! This is what AMD's and others HSA aware GPUs and HSA aware graphics APIs like Vulkan will allow for users to get past the computational limitations of the CPU.

Hopefully AMD's Arctic Islands will see even more of the CPU Types of logic added to the GPU's massive numbers of GPU cores, and even more computational workloads can be run of the GPU's cores without the need for the CPU's intervention, or help. Graphics workloads and HSA are made for each other, and with modern Graphics/GPGPU APIs like Vulkan many more workloads traditionally done on the CPU will move to being done on the GPU, and save thousands of hours of waiting for people that do rendering type workloads, as well as intense computational workloads.

Too many people criticize AMD over its GPU's power usage, but with more computational features AMDs GPU will be good for other uses besides only gaming, and a lot of rendering workloads like ray tracing interaction calculations can be better accelerated on AMD's GPUs.

With AMD's Blender cycles rendering just now enabled and improvements coming a lot of Blender users will now have the choice of a lower cost GPUs to do rendering workloads on. GPGPU is going to be a big improvement going forward for the average computer user also, as even the open source packages like LiberOffice make extensive use of GPU acceleration of spread sheet and other LiberOffice tasks.

August 31, 2015 | 11:29 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You mean like their open source Linux driver? Confused as AMD is the most open sourced of the vendors.

August 31, 2015 | 11:56 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Not as Far a Linux Drivers, but AMD is improving drastically, But look at the Initial Steam OS BETA and AMD support was lacking. Vulkan Support will change things for the better, and AMD's GPUs did get Steam OS support. The whole Steam OS, and Linux gaming support ecosystem will improve things for more than just Linux gaming.

For all points and purposes Vulkan is AMD's promised public release of Mantle, under the name of Vulkan. So much of Vulkan is on the surface and deep inside, Mantle with improvements, that AMDs can be credited with getting the entire industry’s feet to the fire and improvements to the entire graphics API software ecosystem in the entire industry done more quickly.

So its more about AMD keeping their GPU's support for Linux OS going strong, rather than AMD's drivers themselves being more than just offered as closed binary blobs, like Nvidia's drivers are. AMD's is definitely more open than others, but AMD has limited resources so it more of a problem of AMD keeping their newest newest feature sets supported for the Linux Kernel, everybody knows that at least AMD is trying.

August 31, 2015 | 11:31 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Edit: LiberOffice
To: LibreOffice

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