video: OpenCL on Android

Michael-Leahy-talk-videoMichael Leahy spoke on AnDevCon’13 about OpenCL on Android. Enjoy the overview!

Subjects (globally):

  • What is OpenCL
  • 13 dwarfs
  • RenderScript
  • Demo

Mr.Leahy is quite critical about Google’s recent decisions to try to block OpenCL in favour of their own proprietary RenderScript Compute (now mostly referred to as just “RenderScript” as they failed on pushing twin “RenderScript Graphics”, now replaced with OpenGL).

Around March ’13 I submitted a proposal to speak about OpenCL on Android at AnDevCon in November shortly after the “hidden” OpenCL driver was found on the N4 / N10. This was the first time I covered this material, so I didn’t have a complete idea on how long it would take, but the AnDevCon limit was ~70 mins. This talk was supposed to be 50 minutes, but I spoke for 80 minutes. Since this was the last presentation of the conference and those in attendance were interested enough in the material I was lucky to captivate the audience that long!

I was a little concerned about taking a critical opinion toward Google given how many folks think they can create nothing but gold. Afterward I recall some folks from the audience mentioning I bashed Google a bit, but this really is justified in the case of suppression of OpenCL, a widely supported open standard, on Android. In particular last week I eventually got into a little discussion on G+ with Stephen Hines of the Renderscript team who is behind most of the FUD being publicly spread by Google regarding OpenCL. One can see that this misinformation continues to be spread toward the end of this recent G+ post where he commented and then failed to follow up after I posted my perspective:

And that’s how I got in contact with Micheal: we both are irritated by Google’s actions against our favourite open standards. Microsoft has long learned that you should not block, only favour. But Google lacks the experience and believes they’re above the rules of survival.

Apparently he can dish out FUD, but can’t be bothered to answer challenges to the misinformation presented. Mr. Hines is also the one behind shutting down commentary on the Android issue tracker regarding the larger developer communities ability to express their interest in OpenCL on Android.

Regarding a correction. At the time of the presentation given the information at the time I mentioned that Renderscript is using OpenCL for GPU compute aspects. This was true for the Nexus 4 and 10 for Android 4.2 and likely 4.3; in particular the Nexus 10 using the Mali GPU from Arm. The N4 & N10 were initially using OpenCL for GPU compute aspects for Renderscript. Since then Google has been getting various GPU manufacturers to make a Renderscript driver that doesn’t utilize OpenCL for GPU compute aspects.

I hope you like the video and also understand why it remains important we keep the discussion on Google + OpenCL active. We must remain focused on the long-term and not simply accept on what others decide for us.

Related Posts