The current state of WebCL

Years ago Microsoft was in court as it claimed Internet Explorer could not be removed from Windows without breaking the system, while competitors claimed it could. Why was this so important? Because (as it seems) the browser would get more important than the OS and internet as important as electricity in the office and at home. I was therefore very happy to see the introduction of WebGL, the browser-plugin for OpenGL, as this would push web-interfaces as the default for user-interfaces. WebCL is a browser-plugin to run OpenCL-kernels. Meaning that more powerful hardware-devices are available to JavaScript. This post is work-in-progress as I try to find more resources! Seen stuff like this? Let me know.

Continue reading “The current state of WebCL”

WebCL – a next step

WebGL is already secured to be a success; only IE-users will not have the 3D-web without plugin. But once sites like Wikipedia starts to offer 3D-imagery of the human body and buildings (as we know in Google Earth’s KML-format), things can go really fast in favour of the WebGL-supported browsers. This is important, because the balance between the computers/smartphones and the servers (you know: internet) just got somewhat more connected. I was first somewhat critical, because I want the web to have content (text and images) and not be “an ultimate experience” – luckily it turned out to be good for the content. I’m looking forward to Wikipedia and hardware accelerated services like Streetview!

A possible next step would be WebCL. But is it technically possible? And what would the internet-landscape be to be ready for such thing? Khronos did mention to be working on such technique, according to this article. But not much attention was given to it. So I was happy to see a GSOC11 proposal WebCL-plugin for Firefox by Adrien Plagnol. They even have some code. But it was already finished for Firefox 4 (Windows and Linux), I learnt about a week ago.

WebCL by Nokia

It is very simple: it is a Javascript-version of the host-specific OpenCL code. Kernels are just kernels as we know them.

Nokia has put together a very nice WebCL homepage, which contains tutorials. And at lesson one we see how it looks like:

function detectCL() {
  // First check if the WebCL extension is installed at all

  if (window.WebCL == undefined) {
    alert("Unfortunately your system does not support WebCL. " +
          "Make sure that you have both the OpenCL driver " +
          "and the WebCL browser extension installed.");
    return false;
  }

  // Get a list of available CL platforms, and another list of the
  // available devices on each platform. If there are no platforms,
  // or no available devices on any platform, then we can conclude
  // that WebCL is not available.

  try {
    var platforms = WebCL.getPlatformIDs();
    var devices = [];
    for (var i in platforms) {
      var plat = platforms[i];
      devices[i] = plat.getDeviceIDs(WebCL.CL_DEVICE_TYPE_ALL);
    }
    alert("Excellent! Your system does support WebCL.");
  } catch (e) {
    alert("Unfortunately platform or device inquiry failed.");
  }
}

As you can see this is very understandable code, if you know the basics of OpenCL and JavaScript. It is built for stability, so it seems to crash less easily than I expected.

I’ve written/tweeted a lot about OpenCL wrappers and how I think the OpenCL-ecosphere advances mainly by the growing up of the wrappers. Complaints about the far too long initialisation of OpenCL-software can easily be put in just a few lines of code. We now start from scratch again, but I will not be wonder-struck if there will be a jQuery-plugin released soon.

Needs

In the first place, think real-time encryption which can be adapted per user without the browser knowing. There are many more reasons all going back to the demand to have a browser-based computer (like Google is trying with its ChromeOS). All OS-APIs need to be available in a HTML5-like language and this is exactly that.

What are you still doing here? Install the Opencl-plugin for Firefox 4 and try Nokia’s online OpenCL-sandbox now! +1 for crashing it, +2 for sending in a bug-report.

Nokia Maemo and OpenCL

Update 21-06-2011: Bumped into a project by Nokia: CLEP, “OpenCL Embedded Profile” for the N900.

Maemo is the Debian based Linux-distribution of Nokia for embedded devices. It is on the gadget N900, so you can be root on your own phone and compile your own kernel. In other words: a great developer’s phone.

Which smartphone to buy when you want to toy around with OpenCL “Embedded Profile”? There is more and more evidence that the next iPhone OS will have support for OpenCL, as should be expected Apple being the trademark-owner of OpenCL. This is good, since the mobile market could make the difference for the technique – competing with CUDA and DirectCompute. “The other ARM Cortex-A8 smartphone”, the Nokia N900 does not support it, while the magic of OpenCL attracts to many developers on the Maemo-forums.

The QT-blog that disclosed coming OpenCL-support for QT, spoke about it too:

>>Right now, QtOpenCL works very well with desktop OpenCL implementations, like that from NVIDIA (we’ve tested it under Linux, Mac, and Windows). Embedded devices are currently another matter – OpenCL implementations are still very basic in that space. The performance improvements on embedded CPU’s are only slightly better than using ARM/NEON instructions for example. And embedded GPU’s are usually hard-wired for GLSL/ES, lacking many of the features that makes OpenCL really sing. But like everything in the embedded space, things are likely to change very quickly. By releasing QtOpenCL, hopefully we can stimulate the embedded vendors to accelerate development by giving them something to test with. Be the first embedded device on the block to get the mandelbrot demo running at 10fps, or 20fps, or 60fps!<<

But checking the whole Nokia QT/Maemo-SDK for something like “opencl.h” or words like “opencl” and “khronos” in .h-files did not return anything interesting. The missing reference in the SDK tells me, we cannot expect any OpenCL-implementation on the N900 soon. So do we have to wait for the Nokia N920, Maemo 6 and QT 4.8? Once I know more, by getting deeper into the SDK, you’re the first to know. But first let me show you the documents which tells us OpenCL is coming to the Maemo-platform.

The Maemo Base Port Document, version 1.1

Exhibit number 1. The introduction tells us that the document describes what hardware-designers should do to get Maemo working on their device:

>>When Maemo is ported to a new chipset and HW environment, the majority of the SW worktakes place in the base layer. However, some adjustments may also be needed in the otherlayers. The porting work as a whole is a combined effort by the chipset vendor and Nokia. Thisdocument describes the deliverables expected from the chipset vendor in such an effort. The requirements in this document are expressed in the form of SW component, interface andfunctional requirements. Note that in many cases more detailed discussions are neededbetween Nokia and the chipset vendor to reach a common understanding about the specificsof the system architecture and the required component versions, functionality and interfaces.<<

So the document describes what the hardware must support, to be able to run Maemo. Let’s then find the magic word “OpenCL”:

>>Graphics Adaptation. The Base Port graphics adaptation interfaces consist of X11, OpenGL ES, and OpenVG interfaces. The OpenCL interface is also included in this group since it typically is used to access the GPU for general-purpose parallel computation.<<

And somewhat below:

>>OpenCL 1. The Base Port should provide an implementation of the OpenCL 1.0 interface for general-purpose parallel programming of heterogeneous systems, especially for the use of GPUs for computation (Khronos group standard).<<

That seems to be pretty clear that Maemo-devices must be able to support OpenCL.

http://www.forum.nokia.com/piazza/wiki/images/7/7d/Maemo_Base_Port_v1.1.pdf

Paper “OpenCL on Embedded devices” by Nokia

Exhibit 2 shows tests of a few simple OpenCL-program on an unnamed device with a TI OMAP 3430 (550 MHz ARM Cortex-A8 CPU & 110 MHz POWERVR SGX530 GPU) – which happens to be in the Motorola Droid, Palm Pre, and Nokia N900. So they managed to create a OpenCL-implementation on ARM. If you’re interested in OpenCL for embedded devices, please do read this presentation:

http://www.khronos.org/developers/library/2009-hotchips/Nokia_OpenCL-in-Handheld-Devices.pdf

It is a document from august 2009, which shows they actually were trying POWERVR and OpenCL then. Now with QT and Maemo mentioning it, we can be very sure the N900 or the N920 is eventually going to have OpenCL-support.

Qt Hello World

The earlier blog-post was about how to use Qt Creator with OpenCL. The examples are all around Images, but nowhere a simple Hello World. So here it is: AMD’s infamous OpenCL Hello World in Qt. Thank’s to linuxjunk for glueing the parts together.

[[code]]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[[/code]]
Have fun!

Using Qt Creator for OpenCL

More and more ways are getting available to bring easy OpenCL to you. Most of the convenience libraries are wrappers for other languages, so it seems that C and C++ programmers have the hardest time. Since a while my favourite way to go is Qt: it is multi-platform, has a good IDE, is very extensive, has good multi-core and OpenGL-support and… has an extension for OpenCL: http://labs.trolltech.com/blogs/2010/04/07/using-opencl-with-qt http://blog.qt.digia.com/blog/2010/04/07/using-opencl-with-qt/

Other multi-platform choices are Anjuta, CodeLite, Netbeans and Eclipse. I will discuss them later, but wanted to give Qt an advantage because it also simplifies your OpenCL-development. While it is great for learning OpenCL-concepts, please know that the the commercial version of Qt Creator costs at least €2995,- a year. I must also warn the plugin is still in beta.

streamhpc.com is not affiliated with Qt.

Getting it all

Qt Creator is available in most Linux-repositories: install packages ‘qtcreator’ and ‘qt4-qmake’. For Windows, MAC and the other Linux-distributions there are installers available: http://qt.nokia.com/downloads. People who are not familiar with Qt, really should take a look around on http://qt.nokia.com/.

You can get the source for the plugin QtOpenCL, by using GIT:

git clone http://git.gitorious.org/qt-labs/opencl.git QtOpenCL

See http://qt.gitorious.org/qt-labs/opencl for more information about the status of the project.

You can download it here: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1118267/QtOpenCL_20110117.zip (version 17 January 2011)

Building the plugin

For Linux and MAC you need to have the ‘build-essentials’. For Windows it might be a lot harder, since you need make, gcc and a lot of other build-tools which are not easily packaged for the Windows-OS. If you’ve made a win32-binary and/or a Windows-specific how-to, let me know.

You might have seen that people have problems building the plugin. The trick is to use the options -qmake and -I (capital i) with the configure-script:

./configure -qmake <location of qmake 4.6 or higher> -I<location of directory CL with OpenCL-headers>

make

Notice the spaces. The program qmake is provided by Qt (package ‘qt4-qmake’), the OpenCL-headers by the SDK of ATI or NVidia (you’ll need the SDK anyway), or by Khronos. By example, on my laptop (NVIDIA, Ubuntu 32bit, with Qt 4.7):

./configure -qmake /usr/bin/qmake-qt4 -I/opt/NVIDIA_GPU_Computing_SDK_3.2/OpenCL/common/inc/

make

This should work. On MAC the directory is not CL, but OpenCL – I haven’t tested it if Qt took that into account.

After building , test it by setting a environment-setting “LD_LIBRARY_PATH” to the lib-directory in the plugin, and run the provided example-app ‘clinfo’. By example, on Linux:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=`pwd`/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

cd util/clinfo/

./clinfo

This should give you information about your OpenCL-setup. If you need further help, please go to the Qt forums.

Configuring Qt Creator

Now it’s time to make a new project with support for OpenCL. This has to be done in two steps.

First make a project and edit the .pro-file by adding the following:

LIBS += -L<location of opencl-plugin>/lib -L<location of OpenCL-SDK libraries> -lOpenCL -lQtOpenCL

INCLUDEPATH += <location of opencl-plugin>/lib/

<location of OpenCL-SDK include-files>

<location of opencl-plugin>/src/opencl/

By example:

LIBS += -L/opt/qt-opencl/lib -L/usr/local/cuda/lib -lOpenCL -lQtOpenCL

INCLUDEPATH += /opt/qt-opencl/lib/

/usr/local/cuda/include/

/opt/qt-opencl/src/opencl/

The following screenshot shows how it could look like:

Second we edit (or add) the LD_LIBRARY_PATH in the project-settings (click on ‘Projects’ as seen in screenshot):

/usr/lib/qtcreator:location of opencl-plugin>:<location of OpenCL-SDK libraries>:

By example:

/usr/lib/qtcreator:/opt/qt-opencl/lib:/usr/local/cuda/lib:

As you see, we now also need to have the Qt-creator-libraries and SDK-libraries included.

The following screenshot shows the edit-field for the project-environment:

Testing your setup

Just add something from the clinfo-source to your project:

<em>printf("OpenCL Platforms:n"); 
</em><em>QList platforms = QCLPlatform::platforms();
foreach (QCLPlatform platform, platforms) { 
   printf("    Platform ID       : %ldn", long(platform.platformId())); 
   printf("    Profile           : %sn", platform.profile().toLatin1().constData()); 
   printf("    Version           : %sn", platform.version().toLatin1().constData()); 
   printf("    Name              : %sn", platform.name().toLatin1().constData()); 
   printf("    Vendor            : %sn", platform.vendor().toLatin1().constData()); 
   printf("    Extension Suffix  : %sn", platform.extensionSuffix().toLatin1().constData()); </em><em> 
   printf("    Extensions        :n");
} QStringList extns = platform.extensions(); 
foreach (QString ext, extns) printf("        %sn", ext.toLatin1().constData()); printf("n");</em>

If it gives errors during programming (underlined includes, etc), focus on INCLUDEPATH in the project-file. If it complaints when building the application, focus on LIBS. If it complaints when running the successfully built application, focus on LD_LIBRARY_PATH.

Ok, it is maybe not that easy to get it running, but I promise it gets easier after this. Check out our Hello World, the provided examples and http://doc.qt.nokia.com/opencl-snapshot/ to start building.

All the members of the OpenCL working group 2010

(If you’re searching for companies who offer OpenCL-products and services, please visit OpenCL:Pro)

You probably have heard AMD is on the OpenCL working group of Khronos; but there are many more and they possibly all have plans to use it. Here is an overview, so you can make your own conclusions about the future that lays ahead. Is your company on “the list”?

We’re specially interested in the less known companies, so most information is about the companies you and us possibly have not heard from before. We’ve made assumptions what the companies use OpenCL for, so we need your feedback if you think we’re wrong! Most of these companies have not openly written about their (future) accelerated products, so we had to make those guesses.

Disclaimer: All brand and product names are or may be trademarks of, and are used to identify products or services of, their respective owners.

Last updated 6-Oct-2010.

GPU Manufacturers

GPUs being the first products targeted by OpenCL, we blast away with a list of CPU-manufacturers. You might see some unknown companies and now know which companies missed the train; it is pretty clear why GPU-manufacturers have interest in OpenCL.
We skip the companies who have a GPU-stack built upon ARM-techology and only focus on pure GPU-manufacturers in this category.

AMD

We’ve already discussed the biggest fan of OpenCL several times. While having better GPU-cards than NVIDIA (arguable per quarter of the year), they put their bets completely on OpenCL. They even get credits like “AMD’s OpenCL” when compared with NVIDIA’s CUDA.

The end of 2010, beginning of 2011 they will ship their Fusion-product having a CPU and GPU on one chip. The first Fusion-chips will not have a high-end GPU because of heating problems, is told to PC-store employees.

NVIDIA

AMD’s biggest competitor with the very well marketed similar product CUDA. Currently they have the most specialised products in market for servers. While they put more energy in their own technology CUDA, it must be said that they have adopted OpenCL more than any other hardware vendor.

Intel

The biggest part of the CPU-market is for Intel en guess once, who has the biggest GPU-market in hands? Correct: onboard-GPUs are Intel’s speciality, but their high-end GPU Larrabee might once see the market. Just like AMD they have the technology (and products) to have an integrated CPU/GPU which will be very interesting for the upcoming OpenCL-market.

They are openly interested in OpenCL. Here is a nice interview which explains how a CPU-designer looks at GPU-designs.

Vivante

Vivante manufactures GPU-chips. They claim their OpenGL ES 2.0-compliant silicon footprint is the smallest on the market. There is a lot of talk about OpenGL Shader Language (OpenCL’s grandpa), for which their products are very well suited for. Quote: “The recent trend in graphics hardware has been to replace fixed functionality with programmability in areas that have grown exceedingly complex, such as vertex processing and fragment processing. The OpenGL® Shading Language was designed to allow application programmers to express the processing that occurs at those programmable points of the OpenGL pipeline. Independently compilable units written in this language are called shaders. A program is a set of shaders that are compiled and linked together.”

Takumi

Japanese corporation Takumi manufactures the GSHARK, a 2D/3D hardware accelerator. The focus is on shaders, like Vivante.

Imagination Technologies (ImTech)

From their homepage: >>POWERVR enables a powerful and flexible solution for all forms of multimedia processing, including 3D/2D/vector graphics and general purpose processing (GP-GPU) including image processing.

POWERVR’s unique tile-based, deferred rendering/shading architecture allows a very small area of a die to deliver higher performance and image quality at lower power consumption than all competing technologies. All major APIs are supported including OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1, OpenVG 1.1, OpenGL 2.0/3.0 and DirectX9/10.1 and OpenCL.<<

Currently all ARM-based OpenCL-capable devices have POWERVR-technology.

Toshiba

Like other huge Japanese everything-factories, you don’t know what else they make. Besides rice cookers they also make multimedia chips.

S3

Once they were big in the consumer-market of graphics cards, but S3 still exists as a more business-oriented manufacturer of graphics products.

CPU Manufacturers

We miss the Power Architecture, but IBM and Freescale are members of this group.

Intel

While AMD tries to make OpenCL available for the CPU, we have not heard of a similar product from Intel yet. They see a future for multi-core CPUs, as seen in these slides.

ARM

Most known for its same-named low-power processor, not supported by MS Windows. You can read below how many companies have a license on their technology. Together with POWERVR-technology they power all the embedded OpenCL devices of the coming year.

IBM

Currently they are most known for their Cell-processor (co-developed with Toshiba and Sony) and have a license to build PowerArchitecture-CPUs. The Cell has full OpenCL-support as first non-GPU. Older types of PS3s (without the latest firmware) ad IBM’s servers can use the power of OpenCL. End of June 2010 Khronos conformed their “Development Kit for Linux” for Power VMX and PowerXCell8i processors.

Freescale

Once a Motorola-division, they make lots of different CPUs. Besides ARM- and PowerArchitecure-based ones, they also have it’s own ‘Coldfire’. We cannot say for which architecture they are interested in OpenCL, but we really would like to hear something from them since they can open many markets for OpenCL.

Systems on a Chip (SoC)

While it is cool to have a GPU-card in your pc, more and more the Graphics-functionality is integrated onto a CPU. Especially in the mobile/embedded/gadget-market you’ll find such System-on-a-Chip solutions, which are actually all ARM- or PowerArchitecture based.

3DLABS (ZiiLabs)

Creators of embedded hardware with focus on handhelds. They have partners of Khronos for a long time, having built the first merchant OpenGL GPU, the GLINT 300SX. They have just released a multimedia-processor, which is an ARM-processor with pretty interesting graphic capabilities.

They have an “early access program for OpenCL” for their ZMS product line.

Movidia

On their Technology overview-page they imply they have flexible accelerators in their designs, which *could* in the future be controlled by OpenCL-kernels. They manufacture mobile GPUs-plus-loads-of-extras which are quite impressive.

Texas Instruments

Besides ARM-based processors they also have DSPs. We watch them, for which product they have OpenCL in mind.

Qualcomm

They might be most famous for their ARM-based Snapdragon-chipset. They have much more products, but we think they start with Snapdragon before building OpenCL in other products.

Apple

The Apple A4 powers their new products, the iPad. It becomes more and more clear Apple has really learned that you cannot rely on one supplier, after waiting for IBM’s G6. With OpenCL Apple can now make software that works on ARM, all kind of GPUs and CPUs.

Samsung

They make anything that is fed by batteries, so for that reason they should be in the “other” category: mobile phones, mp3-players, photo-cameras, camcorders, laptops, TVs, DVD-players and Bluray-players. All products where OpenCL can wield.

A good reason to make their own semi-conductors, ARM-based.

In the beginning of June 2010 they have launched their own Linux-based OS for mobiles: Bada.

Broadcom

Manufactures networking and communications ICs for data, voice, and video applications. They could use OpenCL for their mobile multimedia processors.

Seaweed

Since September acquired by Presagis. We cannot be sure they continue the OpenCL-business of Seaweed, but at least GPGPU is mentioned once.

Presagis is “the worldwide leader in embedded graphics solutions for mission-critical display applications. The company has provided human-machine interface (HMI) graphical modeling tools, drivers and devices for embedded systems for over 20 years. Presagis pioneered both the prototyping of display graphics and automatic code generation for embedded systems in the 1990s. Since then, code generated by its flagship HMI modeling products has been deployed to hundreds of aircraft worldwide and its software has been certified on over 30 major aircraft programs worldwide. Presagis is your trusted partner for reliable, high-performance embedded graphics products and services.”

ST Microelectronics

ST has many products: “Singapore Technologies Electronics is a leader in ICT. It has main businesses in Enterprise, Satellite Communications and Interactive Digital Media. It is divided into several Strategic Business Units consisting of Info-Comms, Info-Software, Training and Simulation, Electro-Optics, Large Scale Group, Satcom & Sensor Systems.”

We think they’ve shown interest for OpenCL for use with their Imaging processors. Together with Ericsson they have a joint-venture in de mobile market, ST-Ericsson.

Handheld Manufacturers

While most companies will find it hard to make OpenCL-business in the consumer-market, consumer-products of other companies make sales a little bit warmer.

Apple

At least the iPad and iPhone have hardware-capabilities of running OpenCL. It is expected that it will come available in the next major release of the iPhone-OS, iOS 4. We’re waiting for more news.

Nokia

The largest manufacturer of mobile phones from Finland has a lot of technology. Besides smartphones, possibly a netbook (in cooperation with Intel) they also have Symbian and the QT-library. Since a while QT has support for OpenCL. We think the support of OpenCL in programming languages (in a more high-level way) is very important. See these slides to read some insights of the company.

Motorola

They have consumer products like mobile phones and business products like networking. It is not clear where they are going to use OpenCL for, since they mostly use other companies’ technologies.

Super-computers

While OpenCL can revive old computers once upgraded with a new GPU, imagine what they can do with Super-computers.

IBM

IBM builds super-computers based on different technologies. With OpenCL-support for their Power VMX and PowerXCell8i processors, it is already possible to use OpenCL with IBM-hardware.

Fujitsu

They have many products, but they also make super-computers which use GPGPU.

Los Alamos National Laboratory

They build super-computers and really can use the extra power.

A job-post talks about heterogeneous architectures and OpenCL.

Petapath

Petapath, founded in 2008, focuses on delivering innovative hardware and software solutions into the high performance computing (HPC) and embedded markets. As can be seen from their homepage they build grids.

NVIDIA

As a newcomer in the super-computer business, they do very well having helped to build the #2 HPC. Many clusters are upgraded with their streaming-processors.

Other Hardware

We don’t know what they are actually doing with the technology, purely because they are to big to make assumptions.

GE

US-based electronics-giant General Electronics builds everything there is, fed by electricity and now also GPGPU-powered solutions as can be found on their GPGPU-page. They probably switched to CUDA.

ST-Ericsson

Ericsson together with ST they have a joint-venture in de mobile market, ST-Ericsson. Ericssson is big in (mobile) networking. It also builds mobile phones with Sony. It is unclear what the joint-venture wants to do with the technology, but it must be mobile.

Software Developers

While OpenCL is very close to hardware, we have to talk software too. Did anybody say there is a strict line between hardware and software?

Graphic Remedy

Builders of debugging software. You will hear later more from us about this company soon. See something about debugging in this presentation.

RapidMind

RapidMind provided a software product that aims to make it simpler for software developers to target multi-core processors and accelerators (GPUs). It was acquired by Intel in august 2009.

HI

Japanese corporation HI has a product MascotCapsule, which is a real-time 3D rendering engine (native library) that runs on embedded devices. We see names of other companies, except SMedia. If you’re not familiar with mobile GPUs, here you have a list.

This is another big hint, OpenCL will have a big future on mobile devices.

MascotCapsule V4 product specification

Operating
environment
CPUARM: ARM9 or above
Freescale: i.MX Series
Marvell: XScale
Qualcomm: MSM6280/6550/7200/7500 etc.
Renesas Technology: SH-Mobile etc.
Texas Instruments: OMAP
32-bit 150 MHz or above is recommended
(Capable of running without a floating-point hardware)
Code sizeApprox. 200 KB
Engine
work area
2 MB or more is recommended, including data load area
Note: The actual required work area varies depending on the content
3D hardware
accelerator
ATI: Imageon
Imagination Technologies: PowerVR MBX/MBX Lite/SGX
NVIDIA: GoForce
SMedia: Glamo
TAKUMI: GSHARK
Toshiba: T4G/T5G
Other OpenGL ES compliant 3D accelerators
OS/platformsBREW, iPhone, iPod touch, ITRON, Java, Linux, Symbian OS, Windows CE, Windows Mobile
3D authoring tools3ds Max 9.0/2008/2009/2010
Maya 8.5/2008/2009/2010
LightWave3D 7.5 or later
SOFTIMAGE|XSI 5.x/6.x/7.0

Codeplay

They are most famous for their compilers for the Playstation. They also make code-analysis software.

QNX

From their homepage: “Middleware, development tools, realtime operating systemsoftware and services for superior embedded design”. Their real-time OS in all kinds of embedded products and they might want to see ways to support specialised low-power chips.

RIM acquired QNX in april 2010.

Fixstars

Newcomer in the list 2010. Famous for their PS3-Linux and for their OpenCL-book. They also have FOXC, Fixstars OpenCL Cross Compiler. They have written one of the few books for OpenCL.

Kestrel Institute

http://www.kestrel.edu/ does not show anything GPGPU. We’ll probably hear from them when the next version of their Specware-product is finished.

Game Designers

Physics-calculations and AI are too demanding to do on a CPU. The game-industry keeps pushing the GPU-industry, but now on a different way than in the 90’s.

Electronic Arts

This game-studio builds loads and loads of games with impressive AI. See these slides to see what EA thinks GPGPU can do.

Activision Blizzard

Yes, they are one company now, so now they are together famous for best-selling hit “World of Warcraft”. Currently not much is known where they use OpenCL for, but probably the same as EA.

Thank you for your interest in this article

If you know more about OpenCL at these companies or job-posts, please let us know via comment or via e-mail.

We’ve made some assumptions about what these companies use OpenCL for – we need your feedback!