Khronos Releases OpenCL 2.2-11 While Still Waiting For OpenCL-Next
Written by Michael Larabel in Standards on 7 August 2019 at 06:19 AM EDT. 9 Comments
The Khronos Group has released the OpenCL 2.2-11 specification to address various issues with the existing OpenCL specification while the next major release as "OpenCL-Next" is likely still a number of months away.

OpenCL 2.2-11 was released overnight with various bug fixes, clarifications, better formatting of the documentation, and integration with the OpenCL reference pages. That updated specification is available from the Registry.

There isn't any new functionality with OpenCL 2.2-11 but is designed as a maintenance release to address some issues before the next major OpenCL revision. And, yes, OpenCL does continue to advance. While briefly and a while ago there was some talk of whether OpenCL and Vulkan would merge, that isn't going to happen and OpenCL will continue to co-exist with Vulkan.

We've been writing about "OpenCL-Next" for the past year as this next iteration of OpenCL. While there was talk then of it seeing a release in 2019, it's looking now like that next major CL revision won't be out until 2020.

OpenCL-Next is expected to be a flexible framework to support a wider range of hardware than is possible with Vulkan. OpenCL-Next is also expected to make optional more components like SVM, which in turn will allow NVIDIA to finally support it rather than officially trapping their drivers to OpenCL 1.2 with various 2.x bits.

OpenCL-Next is also expected to have a Vulkan-like loader with support for the layers concept, a unified specification for all of the different language APIs, and other big improvements over 2017's OpenCL 2.2.

Additionally, The Khronos Group is still working on better Vulkan and OpenCL interoperability support similar to the SPIR-V/Vulkan interop added to OpenGL 4.6.
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