Big announcements: SYCL 1.2, WebCL 1.0 and OpenCL 2.0

opencl20Khronos just announced three OpenCL based releases:

  •  SYCL 1.2 Provisional Spec – Abstraction Layer for Leveraging C++ and OpenCL
  • WebCL 1.0 Final Spec – JavaScript bindings to OpenCL
  • OpenCL 2.0 Adopters Program – Conformance for OpenCL 2.0 implementations

Below I’ve quoted the summaries. For each of these I’ve prepared articles, but due to lack of time haven’t been able to finish and publish them. So for now some remarks after the summaries.

Khronos Releases SYCL 1.2 Provisional Specification

Programming abstraction layer to enable applications and high-level frameworks to leverage C++ and OpenCL for heterogeneous parallel acceleration

March 19, 2014 – San Francisco, Game Developer’s Conference – The Khronos™ Group today announced the release of SYCL™ 1.2 as a provisional specification to enable community feedback.  SYCL is a royalty-free, cross-platform abstraction layer that enables the development of applications and frameworks that build on the underlying concepts, portability and efficiency of OpenCL™, while adding the ease-of-use and flexibility of C++.  For example, SYCL can provide single source development where C++ template functions can contain both host and device code to construct complex algorithms that use OpenCL acceleration – and then enable re-use of those templates throughout the source code of an application to operate on different types of data.

Higher level languages are very important, as OpenCL is simply too low-level. SYCL is another effort to help researching & improving this area, as we haven’t found the holy grail. Languages like C++AMP and RenderScript claim they can replace OpenCL, but we all know that some implementations of those languages have been done on top of OpenCL.

Khronos Releases WebCL 1.0 Specification

JavaScript bindings to OpenCL brings heterogeneous parallel computing to Web browsers

March 19, 2014 – San Francisco, Game Developer’s Conference – The Khronos™ Group today announced the ratification and public release of the WebCL™ 1.0 specification.  Developed in close cooperation with the Web community, WebCL extends the capabilities of HTML5 browsers by enabling developers to offload computationally intensive processing to available computational resources such as multicore CPUs and GPUs.  WebCL defines JavaScript bindings to OpenCL™ APIs that enable Web applications to compile OpenCL C kernels and manage their parallel execution.  Like WebGL™, WebCL is expected to enable a rich ecosystem of JavaScript middleware that provides access to accelerated functionality to a wide diversity of Web developers.

WebCL gets more and more attention, even before it was even official. It would be interesting to see the same growth to higher level language as we have with OpenCL now. for this reason we started the Learning WebCL website, to help you learn WebCL in the future.

Khronos Launches OpenCL 2.0 Adopters Program

Conformance tests now available to certify OpenCL 2.0 implementations

March 19, 2014 – San Francisco, Game Developer’s Conference – The Khronos™ Group today announced the availability of the official conformance test suite for the OpenCL 2.0 specification, making it possible for implementers to certify that their implementations are officially conformant thorough the Khronos OpenCL Adopters Program.  Khronos has also released a set of header files for OpenCL 2.0 and an updated specification with a number of clarifications and corrections to the specification first released in November 2013.

Finally the headers are open. Stay tuned for an extensive OpenCL 1.2 vs OpenCL 2.0 comparison, which I have prepared but were unable to finish without the header files.

I hope you are as happy with these announcements as I am. This tells me that OpenCL is ready for real business.