What is the killer app for OpenCL? It's a question we get asked all the time. Recently, I figured out the answer. The killer app for OpenCL, and for GPU computing in general, is… are you ready? are you sitting down? It’s graphics.
Let’s back up a bit. OpenCL, if you hadn’t heard, is the latest API for general-purpose computing on GPUs. That is, it lets you use the graphics chip in your laptop / tablet / cell phone to run all kinds of computations that used to run a CPU – and in many cases, to run them a hundred times faster. OpenCL was created by the Khronos Group from a draft specification contributed by Apple. It ships standard with the latest version of Mac OS X, and implementations are available for Windows and Linux as well. (If it’s new to you, check out our previous posts on the topic.) It’s very cool technology. The question is, why do I, my kids, my mom, and (by the way) about a billion other consumers want this technology? Why is it going to be a must-have feature of every 2014 smartphone?
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