Webinar 2015 The Relevance of OpenCL to HPC

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Today’s high performance computing programs are evolving to be increasingly more parallel, increasingly more wait-free, increasingly deploying on many different kinds of hardware including general purpose CPUs, GPGPUs, FPGAs, other custom specific-purpose hardware, etc. The OpenCL standards are platforms providing interfaces that enable deployment of programs to virtually any heterogeneous computing devices. The OpenCL standard defines a highly-vectorizable programming language, OpenCL C, which enables the deployment of programming logic to arbitrary hardware without requiring low-level, “machine-coding” knowledge of such. The OpenCL standard is a critical component of exascale initiatives given that it is hardware neutral, with significant support and participation from all the major processor vendors. Unfortunately the main source of information about OpenCL is in the form of its final specifications so there is a lot of misinformation about it. This talk will explain the relevance of the OpenCL standard to the HPC community, and offer a glimpse into what high-level abstractions for OpenCL, under development by software engineers, might look like.