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Intel has support for all their recent CPUs which have SSE 4.x and AVX. Since SandyBridge the CPUs tend to have good performance. On IndyBridge and later there is also support for the embedded GPU (Windows-only). XeonPhi has support for OpenCL, even though they promote OpenMP most.


Intel does not provide a standard SDK kit which contains both hardware and software, as their hardware is broadly available.

The driver can be downloaded from the Intel OpenCL page – select your OS at the upper-right and click ‘Download’.

The samples are included with the driver, if you use Windows. They can be downloaded separately here. If you have Linux, you can download the samples which have been ported to GCC from our blog – here you can also read on how to install the SDK.


There are various developer tools available. You can find them here:

  • Offline compiler (stand-alone (Windows+Linux) and VisualStudio-plugin)
  • OpenCL – Debugger (VisualStudio only)
  • Integration with Graphics Performance Analyzers (Windows-dowload)
  • VTune Amplifier XE for code-optimisation (more info here, starting at $899 for both Windows and Linux)

Supported hardware

In short: all Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge processors.


Currently the HD4000 is the only embedded GPU that can do OpenCL, and only is supported via Windows drivers.

Xeon Phi

Intel’s official page has more info on the processor-card, and here you’ll find the most recent (public) info.

Xeon Phi
Non-production version of Xeon Phi with half the memory-banks visible around the (large) die.

CPUs and GPUs

With Xeons of 12 to 16 cores and AVX2 (512 bits wide vectors), OpenCL works very well on CPUs.

For GPU bug-reports go to this forum.

Learning material

See this blog post for information on where to find all drivers and samples.

To optimise OpenCL for Intel-processors, you can go through their very nice Optimization Guide. There is also a nice overview of tips&tricks in this article. The Intel OpenCL forums are also a very good source of information.

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