Better OpenCL support in NVIDIA's CUDA SDK

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Vincent Hindriksen
Vincent Hindriksen 68 Comments
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Goal: 1,000

Introduction: CUDA, OpenCL, GPGPU

CUDA and OpenCL are techniques to program GPUs, where CUDA only works on NVIDIA GPUs. CUDA and OpenCL are often referred to as GPGPU- General-purpose computing on graphics processing units. Various researchers have concluded that with OpenCL and CUDA comparable results can be reached.

Besides GPUs, OpenCL is designed to also work on DSPs, mobile processors, FPGAs and modern CPUs. It is not performance-portable, but all techniques learnt can be used on the various platforms.

OpenCL is very promising, but like with all open standards it needs support of the developers and goodwill from the participating companies.

The problem

Nvidia is not including OpenCL samples in the latest CUDA SDK and has removed profiler-support for OpenCL, and instead focusing more on their proprietary CUDA. The reason is simple: every developer who chooses CUDA over OpenCL, is limited to NVIDIA hardware.

As a Khronos member with an excellent record in implementing and promoting standards like OpenGL, this is a surprising and even unacceptable behavior from Nvidia.

OpenCL developers need a full-blown SDK (such as OpenCL samples and aprofiler), so the potential and limitations of NVIDIA GPUs can be learned. Also industry standards like OpenCL help in building up a bigger market for GPU computing, and will be beneficial to Nvidia in the long term.

What I aim by signing this petition

By signing this petition, I request Nvidia to put back the OpenCL samples and profiler in their latest CUDA SDK. By this, the choice is put back to the developer, as it should.




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