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Khronos Releases OpenCL 2.0 Specification

The Khronos Group today announced the ratification and public release of the OpenCL 2.0 provisional specification. OpenCL 2.0 is a significant evolution of the open, royalty-free standard that is designed to further simplify cross-platform, parallel programming while enabling a significantly richer range of algorithms and programming patterns to be easily accelerated. As the foundation for these increased capabilities, OpenCL 2.0 defines an enhanced execution model and a subset of the C11 and C++11 memory model, synchronization and atomic operations. The release of the specification in provisional form is to enable developers and implementers to provide feedback before specification finalization, which is expected within 6 months. The OpenCL 2.0 provisional specification and reference cards are available here.

"The OpenCL working group has combined developer feedback with emerging hardware capabilities to create a state-of-the-art parallel programming platform - OpenCL 2.0," said Neil Trevett, chair of the OpenCL working group, president of the Khronos Group and vice president of mobile content at NVIDIA. "OpenCL continues to gather momentum on both desktop and mobile devices. In addition to enabling application developers it is providing foundational, portable acceleration for middleware libraries, engines and higher-level programming languages that need to take advantage of heterogeneous compute resources including CPUs, GPUs, DSPs and FPGAs."

NVIDIA to License its GPU IP à la ARM and PowerVR

Although NVIDIA's Tegra line of SoCs are among the best performing there are on the market; the high-end SoC market is dominated by Qualcomm and Samsung. These chips are built from scratch by the companies, but the underlying CPU and GPU architectures are licensed from ARM, and the likes of Imagination Technologies, respectively. Imagination's PowerVR graphics cores make up over 80 percent of the embedded GPU market-share. There's a big change of plans at NVIDIA. The company is beginning to think that its expertise in GPU is better proliferated in the mobile SoC space not by waiting for Tegra to gain a foothold, but by licencing its GPU IP (intellectual property) to whoever is willing pay up, much in the same way ARM and Imagination do.

NVIDIA spokesperson David Shannon, in a recent blog post, wrote: "our next step is to license our GPU cores and visual computing patent portfolio to device manufacturers to serve the needs of a large piece of the market... We'll start by licensing the GPU core based on the NVIDIA Kepler architecture, the world's most advanced, most efficient GPU. Its DX11, OpenGL 4.3, and GPGPU capabilities, along with vastly superior performance and efficiency, create a new class of licensable GPU cores. Through our efforts designing Tegra into mobile devices, we've gained valuable experience designing for the smallest power envelopes. As a result, Kepler can operate in a half-watt power envelope, making it scalable from smartphones to supercomputers."

Imagination Ships Caustic Series2 R2500 and R2100 Ray Tracing Accelerators

Imagination Technologies, a leading multimedia technologies company, is now shipping its Caustic Series2 PC boards, the R2500 and R2100, which accelerate PowerVR OpenRL applications including the Caustic Visualizer viewport plug-ins for Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max and the Neon viewport in Rhinoceros 5 from Robert McNeel and Associates.

The Caustic Series2 is the first family of high performance ray tracing accelerator PC boards using Imagination's unique ray tracing technologies in the world's first chipset dedicated to high performance, fully interactive ray tracing in a workstation environment.

Acer Enters Thin Client Market With New Veriton N Series

Acer America today announced its entry into the thin client market with a new commercial offering, the Acer Veriton N Series. The new thin and rich clients provide simplified manageability and energy-efficiency in a secure, space-saving form factor for virtual environments. These practical systems are designed for small and medium businesses, call centres and customers in education, financial services, healthcare and government wanting to tightly manage data, while reducing overall costs.

By increasing hardware utilization and consolidation, the Acer Veriton N Series provides superb performance while keeping operational costs and power consumption low. Centralized processing makes it easy to manage data and hardware assets, monitor system access and enforce security policies and procedures, significantly increasing internal data security.
"Our new thin client line will help organizations meet today's reality of ever shrinking budgets by simplifying IT without compromising on business deliverables," said Michael O'Beirne, Acer senior director, commercial product marketing. "The Acer N Series are easy to configure, maintain and manage, while reducing the overall cost of ownership."

Embedded Graphics: Imagination Tech Supplies More GPU IP than all Others Combined

Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry's research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, announced estimated mobile devices graphics chip shipments for 2011. Mobile devices include smartphones, tablets, cameras, vehicles, and game consoles.

The market for smart mobile devices is soaring. Mobile devices are not necessarily replacing the PC, but they are outselling PCs. Increasingly mobile devices have a graphics processor and those processors are integrated in the device's system on a chip (SoC) application processor.

PowerVR Making a Comeback to PC as Discrete GPGPU, Real-Time Ray-Tracing in 2012

Remember PowerVR GPUs which last saw light when GeForce 3 and Radeon 8500 were around? The company behind it, Imagination Technologies, is working on a discrete PCI-Express GPGPU card for workstations targeting the media industry, which provides real-time ray-tracing acceleration. After its exile from PC graphics, Imagination Technologies worked on and achieved prevalence in embedded GPUs, GPUs embedded into ARM System-on-chips (SoCs), found in smartphones and tablets. This kept its GPU IP and R&D more than afloat.

In 2011, the company acquired Caustic Graphics, a smaller and much newer startup, which was working on dedicated ray-tracing accelerators, and had come up with a working FCPGA chip. Together the company is in the final stages of preparing a product that will bring Imagination Technologies back to the PC, only this time as a GPGPU (such as NVIDIA Tesla and AMD FireStream), and not a display-GPU. The product will be backed by OpenRL Brazil 3.0 SDK. This product will launch some time in 2012.Source: VR-Zone
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