SYCL and Other Announcements

>> Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Game Developers Conference took place last week and there were many announcements related to OpenCL. For one thing, the WebCL 1.0 standard has been released. The page says that "Security is top priority" but I haven't seen any tools or programming constructs that prevent kernels from locking up the GPU. And it doesn't look like WebGL-WebCL interoperability is a significant concern. Ah well.

The GDC announcement that I found especially interesting involves a new programming layer called SYCL. According to its Khronos page, the goal is to make OpenCL and SPIR accessible through C++. I thought Benedict Gaster did a fine job with his cl.hpp wrapper, but I look forward to using the new SYCL API.

The SYCL effort is led by CodePlay, whose CEO, Andrew Richards, discussed OpenCL in an interview I mentioned in a previous post. He appreciates the importance of OpenCL-OpenGL interoperability, and if SYCL can simplify the coding process, that will be a wonderful thing. The FAQ for SYCL is here, but it doesn't answer the burning question: What does SYCL stand for? If you're going to make up a *CL acronym, why use four letters instead of three?

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