1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

AMD Releases Stream SDK For Linux

Michael Larabel

Published on 25 May 2008
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 1 - 7 Comments

Earlier this month we announced that AMD would soon be releasing their Stream SDK for Linux, and just before the start of the weekend this inaugural release had occurred. The Linux release of the AMD Stream SDK v1.1 Beta brings both CAL and Brook+ for those using ATI/AMD graphics hardware. This v1.1 Beta release is also in tune with the new beta release for Microsoft Windows XP.

AMD is making the Stream SDK available to Linux 32-bit and 64-bit users with the supported distributions so far being Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1 and SuSE Enterprise Server SP1. This SDK is available as a 12MB download for each architecture and contained inside the zip file are separate binary packages for CAL and Brook. When using the Stream SDK on Linux, you will need Catalyst 8.4 or later. Running each of these installers will generate an RPM package and subsequently install it on the distribution. With this initial v1.1 Linux beta, there is unfortunately no support for those not using an RPM-based distribution. The default location for these Brook+ and CAL Linux installations are /usr/local/amdbrook/ and /usr/local/amdcal/, respectively. The AMD Stream SDK includes sample applications, tutorials, header files, and a variety of different binary files.

For those unfamiliar with Stream computing, it's the process of accelerating general-purpose code algorithms on the graphics processor in order to take advantage of its enhanced parallel processing capabilities compared a traditional processor. This Stream SDK is made up of AMD CAL, which stands for the Compute Abstraction layer, and Brook+. As described by AMD, CAL is a "natural evolution" to CTM, which is their "Close To Metal" technology. Brook+ is an extension of Stanford's Brook language. Among the areas taking advantage of these massively parallel processing streams are disease research, fluid dynamics, matrix calculations, and other environments that utilize many arithmetic computations and exhibit computational independence.

NVIDIA's competition for Stream computing is CUDA, which is the Compute Unified Device Architecture, or CUDA for short. CUDA has been supported on Linux now for some time and NVIDIA is in the process of bringing PhysX to CUDA, for physics acceleration thanks to their acquisition of AGEIA. Intel's competition is Ct, or C for Throughput Computing.

Not any ATI Radeon / FireGL product will work with this stream computing SDK, but an R600 GPU or later is needed (such as the Radeon HD 2000/3000 series or a workstation component such as the FireGL V8600). If you are very serious about Stream computing, there is the FireStream 9170, which is the industry's first GPU with double-precision floating-point support.

We are in the process of exploring AMD's Stream SDK (both CAL and Brook+) on Linux and we'll present our findings shortly. In addition, we're looking to do a Q&A with AMD's Michael Chu, who is the AMD Stream product manager. If you are interested in trying out the AMD Stream SDK v1.1 Beta, head on over to the AMD Forums for the download link.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux News
  1. Zapcc Claims To Be A "Much Faster C++ Compiler"
  2. Godot 1.1 Engine Release Brings New 2D Engine
  3. Intel VA-API Driver 1.6 Is Coming
  4. Canonical Is Reportedly Considering An IPO
  5. GNOME 3.18 - GTK3 Now Supports RandR 1.5
  6. Fedora 22 Risks Being Delayed Beyond Next Week
  7. Systemd 220 Has Finally Been Released
  8. LibreOffice 5.0 Beta 1 Released
  9. Allwinner Publishes New CedarX Open-Source Code
  10. ACPI 6 Non-Volatile Memory Device Support / NFIT / LIBND For Linux
  11. Fedora 22 Marches Closer To Release
  12. The Linux 4.0 EXT4 RAID Corruption Bug Has Been Uncovered
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. Btrfs RAID 0/1 Benchmarks On The Linux 4.1 Kernel
  2. The State Of Various Firefox Features
  3. Intel Iris Graphics Performance With Mesa 10.6
  4. Fedora Workstation 22 Is Looking Great, Running Fantastic
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. The Linux 4.0 Kernel Currently Has An EXT4 Corruption Issue
  2. Rust 1.0 Language Officially Released
  3. AMDGPU Open-Source Driver Code Continues Maturing
  4. Oculus Rift Suspends Linux Development To Focus On Windows
  5. Wine 1.7.43 Works On Desktop Shell Window Support
  6. Spec Ops: The Line Is The Latest Linux Shooter
  7. RadeonSI Gallium3D Driver To Be Enabled For Android
  8. Microsoft Open-Sources The Windows Communication Foundation