We’ve heard of offloading CPU to execute intensively complex calculations to GPU (graphics processor unit). This finds application in Future web browsers with OpenGL, Graphics Applications, and all games.
AMD has twisted the concept, that takes the GPGPU idea and flips it on its head. AMD has announced the industry’s first OpenCL SDK for x86 processors. Coders can now write to the graphics API and run the resulting code on an AMD or Intel processor.
AMD has announced the release of the first OpenCL SDK for x86 CPUs, and it will enable developers to target x86 processors with the kind of OpenCL code that’s normally written for GPUs. In a way, this is a reverse of the normal “GPGPU” trend, in which programs that run on a CPU are modified to run in whole or in part on a GPU.
But why would some one want the reverse i.e. execute GPU instructions with x86 CPU?
One most evident reason that I see is Debugging – if you don’t have access to an OpenCL-compliant GPU. And for now, that’s essentially what it will be doing. Going further, developers will be able to write in OpenCL and target multicore x86 CPUs alongside GPUs from NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel. Of course, when you can write once and target a variety of parallel hardware types, the fact that Larrabee runs x86 will be irrelevant; so Intel had better be able to scale up Larrabee’s performance, because its x86 support will not be a selling point.
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