ATI Stream SDK 2.0 beta 2 lacks OpenCL GPU support

Written by Tim Smalley

August 10, 2009 | 15:46

Tags: #acceleration #beta-2 #cpu #gpu #opencl #sdk #stream #v20

Companies: #amd #ati

Despite releasing an updated version of its ATI Stream SDK last week, AMD still doesn't support GPU acceleration for OpenCL applications. The current release, version 2.0 beta 2, only supports x86 CPUs with support for SSE3 (or later) and GPU support isn't included.

Unfortunately, we wrongly reported that the SDK included support for GPU acceleration and, upon speaking to AMD, we have managed to get a better understanding of the company's plans.

AMD said that this release was "purposefully targeted at the CPU and the SDK portion of CAL (Compute Abstraction Layer) was not included on purpose."

A company spokesperson was keen to stress that the current version of Stream SDK 2.0 is a beta and doesn't fully reflect the final product. He went on to say that the CAL portion of the Stream SDK will be added back in, complete with GPU accelerated OpenCL support, "in the very near future," but stopped short of giving a more specific timeframe.

The spokesperson recommended that developers who wish to continue using CAL in the meantime should use ATI Stream SDK v1.4, which includes support for Brook+ but not OpenCL.

Considering the focus AMD has placed on its support for OpenCL and other 'open standards', the company isn't yet delivering on all of its promises. Naturally, support is forthcoming as AMD has made clear and the OpenCL drum has been banging since before the Radeon HD 4890's launch, but it's not ready for prime time yet.

With that said, it's very early days for OpenCL at the moment and although Nvidia has made OpenCL drivers available to developers for all GPUs based on its CUDA architecture (G80 and beyond), they're still some time away from making it into the publicly released drivers.

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