ARM and OpenCL

>> Sunday, December 2, 2012

On the whole, I'm happy with the Nexus 10. The Android SDK is easy to use and I've been climbing steadily up the learning curve. I've coded some basic and intermediate applications and I'm currently writing code to access Near Field Communication (NFC).

But in one respect, I'm deeply disappointed. The tablet's GPU is OpenCL-compliant but I can't use it to execute OpenCL kernels. ARM has stated that unless Samsung purchases the drivers, they will remain unavailable.

So an idea struck me: why don't I code an OpenCL driver myself? It's just a matter of translating OpenCL routines into ARM-Mali functions. How hard could it be? To find out, I've downloaded an evaluation copy of ARM's DS-5 development tools.

Of course, I'll also need a run-time compiler. Thankfully, the folks at have released oclTools, which looks like it will be helpful. Their site is minimalistic and light-hearted, and I was interested in learning more about them. But when I went to the About Us page, the only link leads to Apple, champion of all that is closed-source and litigious. Bizarre.


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