25/06/2010 OpenCL 1.1 specification released

I was expecting the release of OpenCL 1.1 since a long time... and it's after 18 months that the first update it available! The funny thing is the industry has already mentioned OpenCL 1.1 for products since 6 months to 1 year, something that never happen with OpenGL (at least since OpenGL 2.0, except OpenGL Longs Peak actually). The Siggraph 2010 is in a bit more than 1 month and still, I haven't found any confirmation for OpenGL 4.1 released during the event.

I must admin that I was really excited about OpenCL when it got release however I am not as much. A lot of factors have with that: The not so stable, compliant, efficient drivers; Larrabee collapse (as expected); nVidia GT200 and even more GF100 (compute oriented but insane consumption!); AMD Radeon 4000 and 5000 series (excellent performance / mm2 / watt ratio). A generic GPU is an interesting paradigm but a paradigm where CPU performs better. I guess, my point of view is that GPUs are meant to be flexible not generic: 2 completely distinct ideas! CPU and GPU will remain both really important!

Nevertheless, OpenCL has a future and it's definitely something I have to explore more. OpenCL 1.1 is released and this is great! The feature list remains quite short and for most of it, it tastes like refinements. The most interesting things for me in this release it the new extension CL_KHR_d3d10_sharing (not part of OpenCL 1.1 core actually) which allows sharing memory between OpenCL and Direct3D 10. Would it be interesting to use Direct3D with OpenCL instead of Direct Compute? I don't know yet but this is quite a big statement of the Khronos Group to Microsoft. nVidia even has some proprietary extensions to support Direct3D 9 and 11 "interops".

In 18 months, that level of evolution? Disappointing? Well, I appreciate a lot the updated OpenCL documentation but when we see the support (drivers/tools) of OpenCL by both AMD and nVidia - after 18 months -, it might be more important to work on that side before any massive new features for OpenCL.

Let's meet up at Siggraph 2010! >
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