Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

OpenCL Specification Completed in Record Time for Snow Leopard

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
51,447
13,083
https://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogodarkd.png

Macworld reports from the SuperComputing 08 conference which is taking place in Austin, Texas this week. The Khronos group was present to celebrate the launch of the upcoming OpenCL specification which Apple is planning to implement in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. OpenCL is a new programming interface (API) to allow developers to take advantage of parallel computing across graphics processing units (GPUs) and multi-core CPUs.

While few details were revealed, Khronos’ president Neil Trevett explained how quickly the OpenCL specification had come together.
“If you go to some other larger standards bodies, it’s quite normal for a standard to take five years or more,” Trevett said. “That’s quite commonplace. You actually have to really push to get it down to eighteen months. Our record was 12 months, up to now; we’ve done this one in six [OpenCL].”
The speed at which they completed the specification was due to Apple's tight schedule to allow it to ship with Snow Leopard. The specification is now being reviewed by lawyers for the next 30 days to make sure no intellectual property has been breached. The specification will presumably be complete once it passes this 30 day inspection.

Trevett was very optimistic about the prospects of OpenCL specifically implemented in Snow Leopard:
“If Apple ends up following through on the plans they stated on building this specification into Snow Leopard, I think you could see opportunity for imaging applications vendors, video application vendors to tap into the goodness of GPU hardware,” Trevett said. “Everyone has a supercomputer locked away in their Mac, but it’s hard to get at it. And OpenCL will unlock the potential of that supercomputer.”
He also acknowledged that OpenCL would work from the cell phones to high end computers, leaving open the possibility that we could see OpenCL implemented in future iPhones.

Apple's Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) is expected to ship in 2009 with recent hints suggesting the first quarter of 2009.

Article Link: OpenCL Specification Completed in Record Time for Snow Leopard
 

AppleMatt

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2003
1,780
20
UK
Sounds pretty impressive...!

I'd love to see an OpenCL app on an iPhone, purely out of interest as to what it could do.

AppleMatt
 
Comment

840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
8,234
3,535
Twin Cities Minnesota
Sounds good. I am glad to see this as an opportunity for applications to really shine. Hopefully Adobe will support this on the OS X side.

https://forums.macrumors.com/image.php?u=47064&dateline=1165207334&type=profile
 
Comment

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,583
7
The Kop
Seems like apple are really pushing this forward. Will be interesting to see some benchmarks.

Anything to bring some extra speed to a computer is welcome.

Snow Leopard sounds very very interesting, wish apple had given a bit more away but I suppose they were hurt by the Leopard Secret features.
 
Comment

poundsmack

macrumors 6502
Apr 28, 2005
287
0
wow

the Khronos has never been known for super speedy standard formalization. I am glad that OpenCL got rocketed through by apple. lets just hope that rushing it doesnt lead to issues like OpenGL 3.0 being put out a little before it was ready (many are looking forward to 3.1 to add teh features they wanted to see in 3.0)
 
Comment

BlueRevolution

macrumors 603
Jul 26, 2004
6,054
2
Montreal, QC
The question that comes to mind for me is whether the quality, stability, or reliability of the interface will have suffered from the tight schedule. Of course, Apple can churn these out much more quickly because it isn't a standard at all, whereas Trevett's comparison is to "larger standards bodies", which bring a number of parties together to work on a standard that will benefit all of them. Apple is doing this on a unilateral basis, so of course they can do it faster.

Yes yes, good job Apple. Just don't waste too much time patting yourselves on the back.
 
Comment

guzhogi

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,208
1,171
Wherever my feet take me…
I'd love to see what OpenCL (along w/ Grand Central) will bring. I wonder how much processing power goes wasted (not having enough to do as well as poorly written software). Plus, it would be good to have a standard way of doing multiprocessing (saying the APIs do it well).

As for OpenGL, I don't know anything about it. But reading these posts, I hope 3.1 gets all the features you want, Apple actually uses compatible graphics cards when they come out (not 2+ years after the fact), and has good drivers to go w/ them. If all this happens, new Macs would absolutely scream! But, if you want to see really great graphics, go outside. :D
 
Comment

Yuppi

macrumors regular
Aug 6, 2007
197
0
My guess is that they were able to be so quick because NVidia has lots of experience with CUDA. It doesn't make sense that Apple alone would create such a service. Also both NVidia and AMD (formerly ATI) have big interests in making these technologies available. Especially AMD which plans to built-in GPUs into processors.
 
Comment

commander.data

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2006
1,021
113
I'm amazed OpenCL was completed so quickly. Unlike say OpenGL 3.0. Apple no doubt had the entire spec laid out already. The delay was just having to shove it down people's throats getting them to agree that it may not be the best in world, but it'll do for a 1.0 version. And it's great that they are going to get it out before DX11.

“The fact that if we could hit this impossible deadline [Apple] would support it in Snow Leopard was a huge plus to us,” said Intel’s Tim Mattson.
...
“The specification was written very carefully not to tell vendors how they implement things. So that gives them flexibility they need to map onto virtually any device they can think up,” Mattson said. “So, yeah, it’ll be beneficial to users across the board. And I can’t emphasize enough that I’ll be able to write one program that I’ll be able to recompile and it will run on my cell phone, it will run on my Powerbook.”
I wonder if Intel's enthusiastic support for OpenCL means that they might add support for say the GMA X3100. It's interesting that he mentioned it might run on a Powerbook. Perhaps he meant a MacBook Pro, but maybe the spec is flexible enough that it can be implemented on older GPUs if Intel, nVidia, and ATI develop the drivers. Certainly unified shaders in DX10 generation hardware isn't necessarily required since the X1900 did GPGPU work just fine. I emailed ATI a few weeks ago putting in a plug for OpenCL support for the X1600 that is in many MacBook Pros and iMacs. A Stream Computing manager there replied that OpenCL was still being defined but they'll keep it in mind. So hopefully there are results. It should be in everyone's interest to support OpenCL on as much hardware as possible.

And hopefully Intel will support OpenCL in Larrabee and not just their own interface implementation.
 
Comment

rumplestiltskin

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2006
274
93
Perhaps people are expecting the usual "standards" jockeying when Microsoft is involved in the process.

You'd be amazed at the progress we can make when we remove Microsoft from the equation. :D
 
Comment

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,790
571
Redondo Beach, California
The question that comes to mind for me is whether the quality, stability, or reliability of the interface will have suffered from the tight schedule. Of course, Apple can churn these out much more quickly because it isn't a standard at all, whereas Trevett's comparison is to "larger standards bodies", which bring a number of parties together to work on a standard that will benefit all of them. Apple is doing this on a unilateral basis, so of course they can do it faster.

Yes yes, good job Apple. Just don't waste too much time patting yourselves on the back.

No, apaerently Apple didn't do this all by themselves. What they did is work or a long time with Intel, nvidia, AMD and other before going to Kronos with their draft OpenCL spec in hand. They did the work in a small club.

I read only a light weight "technical overview" that had some code examples. I looks to me like the standard itself is small and there is not to much to argue about it it. All the work will be in implementing it. Writing an OpenCL run time system looks to me like a very majoir effort

Also while Applemight use a little of OpenCL in SL. I think before we see it widely used we will need for there to be some higher level libraries. It would a an almost no-brainer touse OpenCL to drive the physics in an OpenGL based game but first you'd have to re-write one of the common physics engines touse OpenCL. My gues is that uses will not see much from OpenCL untill after mid 2010.
 
Comment

m1stake

macrumors 68000
Jan 17, 2008
1,518
3
Philly
As for OpenGL, I don't know anything about it. But reading these posts, I hope 3.1 gets all the features you want, Apple actually uses compatible graphics cards when they come out (not 2+ years after the fact), and has good drivers to go w/ them. If all this happens, new Macs would absolutely scream! But, if you want to see really great graphics, go outside. :D

It's the competitor for D3D. Unfortunately, it's not going anywhere fast, and certainly will not make an appearance in Snow Leopard. Not that it makes much difference, because anyone who knows anything plays games on Windows anyway.
 
Comment

Analog Kid

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2003
5,679
4,223
Yeah, yeah, yeah... It's hard to get excited about how fast it's going through the standards bodies when we know nothing about what it really is. I have high hopes for it, but I have no idea if it's going to do anything I dream it will.
 
Comment

Analog Kid

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2003
5,679
4,223
I read only a light weight "technical overview" that had some code examples. I looks to me like the standard itself is small and there is not to much to argue about it it. All the work will be in implementing it. Writing an OpenCL run time system looks to me like a very majoir effort
Is that tech overview public? I'd like to see it if you can point me to it.
[Edit: I found this one, but would still be interested in others]
It's the competitor for D3D. Unfortunately, it's not going anywhere fast, and certainly will not make an appearance in Snow Leopard. Not that it makes much difference, because anyone who knows anything plays games on Windows anyway.
And anyone who knows anything else knows that games aren't the primary purpose of OpenGL.
 
Comment

Chaos123x

macrumors 68000
Jul 8, 2008
1,695
33
Will Snow leopard support CrossFire and SLI?

Or even better Hybrid versions of each.
 
Comment

gkarris

macrumors G3
Dec 31, 2004
8,299
1,053
"No escape from Reality...”
Is that tech overview public? I'd like to see it if you can point me to it.
[Edit: I found this one, but would still be interested in others]

And anyone who knows anything else knows that games aren't the primary purpose of OpenGL.

Whoo, hooo! OpenCL!

Going to be great!

It's for computers AND has the word, "Open" followed by two CAPITAL letters!

(goes back to playing Atari "Asteroids"...) :eek:

:D
 
Comment

guzhogi

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,208
1,171
Wherever my feet take me…
It's the competitor for D3D. Unfortunately, it's not going anywhere fast, and certainly will not make an appearance in Snow Leopard. Not that it makes much difference, because anyone who knows anything plays games on Windows anyway.

I knew what OpenGL is, just meant I didn't know much about version 3 of it. Hopefully everyone who designs & uses OpenGL will make it better. Awful that D3D is a proprietary, Microsoft-only API.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.