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AMD Releases OpenCL ATI GPU Support For Linux

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  • #16
    Back to the original question, the C++ support NVidia is claiming is like a C++ version of CUDA. It really doesn't have anything to do with OpenCL support.

    And given that they had to make hardware changes in their upcoming hardware to do it, and the fact that AMD hasn't announced something similar in response, plus the fact that NVidia seems to be focusing more on those types of features than AMD is makes me assume that it's not in the R800 cards.

    To be honest, I'm not entirely sure that's a very big deal. It seems to me like the vast majority of code you'd want to run on a GPU would be easily written in C anyway, although I'm sure that eventually it will become a wanted feature. AMD will probably add support for it about that time, maybe in a generation or 2.

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    • #17
      Does this depend on the FGLRX driver and a specific version of that in that case?

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      • #18
        Originally posted by bridgman View Post
        The OpenCL code only supports HD4xxx and higher GPUs. The IGP parts all use cores from earlier generations.

        I believe the issue is the on-chip LDS/GDS memory blocks which allow data sharing between GPU threads. Those blocks first appeared in the HD4xxx family.
        HD2900 and HD3870 are not supported ? ? ? ?

        i think i should sell my hd3850 very fast...

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        • #19
          Originally posted by sandain View Post
          So does that mean that there will be no forthcoming support for the HD2xxx and HD3xxx families? If so, that makes me want to cry...
          the only REAL HD2xxx cart is the 2900 but yes no support for the HD3870 is realy---->want to cry

          i have a 3850... i realy realy should sell this cart on ebay very fast..

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          • #20
            why? Do you suddenly need openCL to live? I'd expect another year to pass before openCL is used by widespread software. If your card can do what you need right now, keep it.

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            • #21
              I can't make sense of that video. NVidia announced C++ support. You claim this won't happen? Sounds a bit strange to me, so I suppose this video is by people who spread too much FUD or something.
              As the previous posters said, the issue is that Nvidia is having troubles producing the actual cards. This video showed the (failed) damage control they are trying to do: the features sound great on paper, but they are useless without the actual hardware to run them - and the hardware is nowhere to be found (edit: the card and the videos they showed are obviously fake).

              Every indication is that they won't release sooner than Q1 or Q2 of 2010.

              Personally, I don't doubt that we'll see some form of C++ running on those GPUs. However, I believe this will be *far* from what C++ will look like on the CPU - I doubt we'll see stuff like multiple inheritance (or even single virtual inheritance), partial template specialization or any of the other features that make C++ more than C-with-classes. Don't expect to take your favorite C++ application (e.g. Firefox) and compile it for the GPU anytime soon (before Larbee at least).

              Note that DX11 already supports C-with-classes, so Nvidia won't be bringing anything new to the table...

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              • #22
                Eh, screw C++. I don't need a fully general purpose GPU, I just want apps that make sense to accelerate, to be accelerated. Like video decoding...

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by rohcQaH View Post
                  why? Do you suddenly need openCL to live? I'd expect another year to pass before openCL is used by widespread software. If your card can do what you need right now, keep it.
                  i hope abaut the opensource driver... i think the opensource driver will support openCL on an hd 38xx

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                  • #24
                    So what?

                    "ATI releases OpenCL ATI GPU support for Linux"

                    So what? What does this mean? What's OpenCL good for? What applications might start to take advantage of this? Why should I care?

                    That's what I'd really like to read in the article.

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                    • #25
                      So ATI purposely screws over it's previous generation yet again. First by not providing stable drivers, now by providing OpenCL support only to the newest cards. ATI's OpenCL implementation should have provided support for all graphics cards that they support in their drivers. Oh well, yet another reason why AMD doesn't deserve any more of my support or money.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by alazyworkaholic View Post
                        "ATI releases OpenCL ATI GPU support for Linux"

                        So what? What does this mean? What's OpenCL good for? What applications might start to take advantage of this? Why should I care? That's what I'd really like to read in the article.
                        If you follow the "AMD Developer Central" link Michael provided, and scroll down to "Related Resources", you will see a number of links providing overview information for OpenCL.

                        Originally posted by LavosPhoenix View Post
                        So ATI purposely screws over it's previous generation yet again. First by not providing stable drivers, now by providing OpenCL support only to the newest cards. ATI's OpenCL implementation should have provided support for all graphics cards that they support in their drivers. Oh well, yet another reason why AMD doesn't deserve any more of my support or money.
                        I believe the issue here is that OpenCL (an industry standard developed in 2008 to provide an open standard for computing in 2010 and beyond) requires hardware capabilities which were not included in our 2006 and 2007 GPUs in order to be fully compliant. It's probably possible to do some kind of subset implementation, and I'm sure the open source drivers will implement one anyways, but right now I don't know how useful an implementation without the local and global data share memories would be.

                        I guess I'd better apologize for DX11 right now before things get any worse
                        Last edited by bridgman; 10-14-2009, 12:22 PM.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by LavosPhoenix View Post
                          So ATI purposely screws over it's previous generation yet again. First by not providing stable drivers, now by providing OpenCL support only to the newest cards. ATI's OpenCL implementation should have provided support for all graphics cards that they support in their drivers. Oh well, yet another reason why AMD doesn't deserve any more of my support or money.
                          Did it ever cross your mind that those GPUs may not support the hardware features necessary for OpenCL in the first place? No, probably not.

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                          • #28
                            I really don't buy into 'c++ in hardware'. Are you guys sure you don't misinterpret something? Something like 'the cuda compiler can eat c++ and turn it into the instruction stream needed by the card'?

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by energyman View Post
                              I really don't buy into 'c++ in hardware'. Are you guys sure you don't misinterpret something? Something like 'the cuda compiler can eat c++ and turn it into the instruction stream needed by the card'?
                              Well, that would legitimately be "C++ on GPU", but the notion of that somehow being tied to "real applications" running on the GPU makes no sense to me. No matter what language a GPU-targeted compiler supports, a GPU is not going to have the general-purpose libraries, OS facilities, or I/O capabilities demanded by "real applications". To the extent that applications use any kind of C++-on-GPU capability, I don't see how it would be any more or less "real" than using OpenCL, Cg, or whatever.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by energyman View Post
                                I really don't buy into 'c++ in hardware'. Are you guys sure you don't misinterpret something? Something like 'the cuda compiler can eat c++ and turn it into the instruction stream needed by the card'?
                                What NVidia is saying is that certain C++ features weren't possible in previous generations because the hardware lacked the necessary support. See this anandtech article for some more info: http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3651&p=6

                                In previous architectures there was a different load instruction depending on the type of memory: local (per thread), shared (per group of threads) or global (per kernel). This created issues with pointers and generally made a mess that programmers had to clean up.

                                Fermi unifies the address space so that there's only one instruction and the address of the memory is what determines where it's stored. The lowest bits are for local memory, the next set is for shared and then the remainder of the address space is global.

                                The unified address space is apparently necessary to enable C++ support for NVIDIA GPUs, which Fermi is designed to do.
                                Fermi implements a wide set of changes to its ISA, primarily designed at enabling C++ support. Virtual functions, new/delete, try/catch are all parts of C++ and enabled on Fermi.

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