Vendors Including NVIDIA Talk Up New OpenCL Extensions For Vulkan Interop, NN Inference

Written by Michael Larabel in Standards on 19 October 2021 at 09:00 AM EDT. 10 Comments
Last Friday night we spotted OpenCL 3.0.9 with several new extensions included. Today The Khronos Group is formally announcing these latest OpenCL additions focused on Vulkan interoperability as well as neural network inferencing.

These new extensions for OpenCL 3.0 include an integer dot product extension for neural network inferencing (cl_khr_integer_dot_product) with a focus on 8-bit integer support.

Improving the cross-API interoperability between OpenCL and Vulkan meanwhile is the inclusion now of semaphore and external memory sharing extensions. The semaphores and memory sharing extensions for OpenCL are compatible with the semaphores / external memory support from Vulkan drivers as well as the similar interoperability support found with OpenGL 4.6. Among the new semaphore extensions is also cl_khr_external_semaphore_dx_fence as similar to a Direct3D 12 fence and may help out some of the D3D-based translation efforts. Similarly, with the external memory extensions there is a cl_khr_external_memory_dx extension for using a Win32 Direct3D 12 heap.

Learn more about these new OpenCL 3.0 extensions at

Today's announcement includes vendor quotes from Arm, Imagination Technologies, and NVIDIA. While many view NVIDIA's OpenCL support as neglected as the company emphasizes their CUDA compute stack, the NVIDIA quote does seem to imply the company will be coming out with OpenCL semaphore and external memory support atop their OpenCL 3.0 conformant driver soon.
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