AMD is taking OpenCL FTW

AMD has announced a set of software development tools that will enable engineers to more easily optimize apps for OpenCL standards.

According to company exec Manju Hegde, the advanced tools should create a foundation for software companies to “realize the full potential” of AMD’s APU lineup across an extensive range of heterogeneous computing platforms.

“[Using the tools], developers can bring to life innovative experiences like HD video, 3D gaming, video conferencing and intuitive user interfaces, to truly differentiate their apps in the market,” Hegde explained.

“[As such], we are working closely with devs to make it easier to bring the benefits of heterogeneous computing to consumers, enabling next-gen system features like vivid video, supercomputer-like performance and enhanced battery life.”

One of the new tools includes an advanced version of gDEBugger, a plug-in designed to work with Microsoft Visual Studio. The OpenCL/OpenGL profiler and memory analyzer allows devs to debug OpenCL kernels running on AMD GPUs by “stepping through” source code, all while examining kernel variables and data.

gDEBugger is coded by AMD’s Israeli research center, formerly known as Graphic Remedy, which was acquired by the corporation in October 2010.

Additional tools include: 

  • Parallel Path Analyzer (PPA) – An advanced profiling tool for developing applications that optimizes both GPU and CPU load. The PPA visualizes data transfers and kernel execution, identifies system-wide critical paths and locates data dependencies.
  • Global Memory for Accelerators (GMAC) – Provides a framework in which a developer can create applications leveraging the impressive compute capabilities of OpenCL, but without the overhead of  explicitly managing multiple data buffers across the separate address spaces of GPU and CPU.
  •  Task Manager tools – Offers a framework for managing compute tasks in a heterogeneous multi-core environment. OpenCL kernels can be automatically scheduled to execute on an available and task-appropriate device, providing dynamic load balancing, optimizing use of available compute resources and removing the burden of explicit schedule handling.

Note: PPA, GMAC and Task Manager tools are currently being developed by Multicoreware in collaboration with AMD. All three will be available (in beta) during Q3 of 2011.