Is OpenCL coming to Apple iOS?

Answer: No, or not yet. Apple tested Intel and AMD hardware for OSX, and not portable devices. Sorry for the false rumour; I’ll keep you posted.

Update: It seems that OpenCL is on iOS, but only available to system-libraries and not for apps (directly). That explains part of the responsiveness of the system.

At the thirteenth of August 2011 Apple askked the Khronosgroup to test 7 unknown devices if they are conformant with OpenCL 1.1. As Apple uses OpenCL-conformant hardware by AMD, NVidia and Intel in their desktops, the first conclusion is that they have been testing their iOS-devices. A quick look at the list of available iOS devices for iOS 5 capable devices gives the following potential candidates:

  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 5
  • iPad
  • iPad 2
  • iPod Touch 4th generation
  • Apple TV
If OpenCL comes to iOS soon (as it is already tested), iOS 5 would be the moment. iOS 5 processors are all capable of getting speed-up by using OpenCL, so it is no nonsense-feature. This could speed up many features among media-conversion, security-enhancements and data-manipulation of data-streams. Where now the cloud or the desktop has to be used, in the future it can be done on the device.

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