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Khronos Group Shows Off OpenCL Standard

Khronos Group Shows Off OpenCL Standard

by , 6:35 PM EST, November 21st, 2008

Only six months after announcing OpenCL, Khronos Group unveiled the proposed standard earlier in the week. OpenCL will be one of the key technologies in Mac OS X 10.6 because it allows applications to take advantage of the horsepower in video processors along with the computer's main processor chips.

OpenCL has several big name tech companies behind it, including Apple, IBM, Nvidia, Intel, Google, and more. Khronos Group found that it had to fast-track its work because Apple wants to ship Mac OS X 10.6, or Snow Leopard, early next year, and can't hit that release window if the OpenCL specification hasn't been finalized.

When the group showed off the OpenCL standard, it didn't get to also show off code or demonstrate OpenCL-based demo apps in action, according to Macworld. While the OpenCL specification has been defined, the group can't release any technical details until the companies backing the standard finish their review process.

"Now you go through a process where all the companies involved get all their lawyers to pore through and make absolutely sure there's no IP and that all the I's have been dotted and all the T's have been crossed," said Intel's Tim Mattson. "There's a minimum of 30 days where companies can pore over it and approve it to say that 'yes, we bless this. It does not expose IP, it does not create any trademark problems, it's okay.' But until that 30-day period is up, and until all of our companies have signed the paperwork saying 'yes, we bless this,' we cannot release demos, we cannot release the specs."

OpenCL promises to offer benefits to more than just Apple because it offers the potential to squeeze even more processor horsepower out of devices regardless of size, meaning desktop and laptop computers, along with handheld devices like Apple's iPhone could take advantage of the technology, too.

Mr. Mattson added "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."

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