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Monday, November 18, 2013
Khronos Finalizes OpenCL 2.0 Specification

The Khronos Group today announced the public release of the finalized OpenCL 2.0 specification, the royalty-free standard that simplifies cross-platform, parallel programming.

With an enhanced execution model and a subset of the C11 and C++11 memory model, synchronization and atomic operations, OpenCL now enables a richer range of algorithms and programming patterns to be easily accelerated with improved performance.

OpenCL 2.0 updates and additions include:

- Host and device kernels can directly share pointer-containing data structures such as trees and linked lists, providing programming flexibility and eliminating costly data transfers between host and devices.

- Device kernels can enqueue kernels to the same device with no host interaction, enabling flexible work scheduling paradigms and avoiding the need to transfer execution control and data between the device and host, often significantly offloading host processor bottlenecks.

- Functions can be written without specifying a named address space for arguments, especially useful for those arguments that are declared to be a pointer to a type, eliminating the need for multiple functions to be written for each named address space used in an application.

- Improved image support including sRGB images and 3D image writes, the ability for kernels to read from and write to the same image, and the creation of OpenCL images from a mip-mapped or a multi-sampled OpenGL texture for improved OpenGL interop.

- A subset of C11 atomics and synchronization operations to enable assignments in one work-item to be visible to other work-items in a work-group, across work-groups executing on a device or for sharing data between the OpenCL device and host.

- Pipes are memory objects that store data organized as a FIFO and OpenCL 2.0 provides built-in functions for kernels to read from or write to a pipe, providing straightforward programming of pipe data structures that can be highly optimized by OpenCL implementers.

- Enables OpenCL implementations to be discovered and loaded as a shared object on Android systems.

The OpenCL 2.0 specifications are available at

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