"In a previous column, I bemoaned the state of HPC Software.
This column was actually a prelude to my column on nVidia CUDA
computing. I was particularly impressed at how fast CUDA has gained
traction in HPC and other areas. The CUDA wave has definitely hit
the beach and I'll have more on nVidia as the Fermi GPU begins to
filter into the HPC trenches. In this column I want to talk about
the other GPU language: OpenCL.
"Before I launch into OpenCL background, I want make a
prediction. I believe OpenCL will gain acceptance in much the same
way nVidia CUDA has. Like CUDA, OpenCL has a freely available SDK
(Software Development Kit), is based on the C language, and can be
explored using low cost video hardware. OpenCL brings two other
features to the table, however. These are open standard compliance
and support for data-parallelism (GP-GPU) and task-parallelism
(CPU) methods. I'll take a closer look at these below, but first
some background will be helpful."