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Intel Open Source Linux

Intel Releases New OpenCL Implementation for GNU/Linux 60

An anonymous reader writes "Intel has released its first version of Beignet, an open-source OpenCL run-time and LLVM back-end for Linux that uses LLVM/Clang and is compatible with Ivy Bridge processors. Right now there's partial support for OpenCL 1.0 and 1.1 along with other basic functionality." This is not using Gallium 3D, and at least David Arlie thinks it should not be an fd.o project because it duplicates functionality already present in Mesa.
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Intel Releases New OpenCL Implementation for GNU/Linux

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  • Duplicated effort (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Plombo ( 1914028 ) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @12:36AM (#43458519)

    Dave Airlie is right. There is no good reason for Intel to duplicate all of the work already done on Clover. Of course, Intel hasn't used Gallium for anything before, but their GL drivers have been around since before Gallium drivers became the standard and their video decoding implementation came before there were Gallium state trackers for video decoding.

    This, however, just seems like mismanagement to me. Maybe it has to do with this being developed by Intel OTC China instead of Intel OSTC Portland where Intel's Mesa developers are employed, but we now have two frontends that do the same thing.

    From the readme [freedesktop.org] in its repository, it seems that Beignet is still far from complete. Hopefully Intel will change its mind and use Clover if it wants OpenCL working on its hardware under Linux.

    • by MrMickS ( 568778 )

      If Arlie is right why is there more than one Linux distro? Why does Linux exist at all, we had free BSD Unixes before hand? Why is there more than one Smartphone OS? Why is there more than one console? Why are there both diesel and petrol combustion engines? In fact why are there engines at all, horses will do the job of pulling carts and carriages around.

      Arlie is pissed because something that Intel releases is likely to get more traction than his pet project. His comments are as much about ego as anything

      • This sounds right on the money to me.

        Also, if Intel were to make use of Mesa, just think of the outcry on /. over a for-profit company getting some benefit from using free code.

        • Like if the for-profit Apple were to get some benefit from using a BSD kernel?
          Or if the for-profit IBM were to get some benefit from using linux?
          Or if the for-profit Amazon were to get some benefit from using Apache Hadoop?
          Or if the for-profit Cisco were to get some benefit from using postgreSQL?

          Methinks you're imagining outcries that are not in evidence.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Should this really be called "for GNU/Linux" if it's built with LLVM? I see Linux, but not a whole lotta GNU.
    • Very good point. Of course, it could be that they avoided using GCC, but are using other GNU utilities, but that's what I'd like to know. But if they are using other Linux utilities outside GNU, and not a lot of it - either deliberately or otherwise - there ain't a good case at least here for calling it GNU.

  • by smash ( 1351 ) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @04:35AM (#43459247) Homepage Journal
    Intel = bad, AMD = good. OpenCL = apple = bad, Linux = good. LLVM = apple = bad. Oh what spin should the /. groupthink put on this?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Um, this is what one tends to see on /.:
      Intel = good and very bad on a case-by-case basis, AMD = good, Apple = often bad, but with some very good project, OpenCL = very good, and prime example of good apple goodness, LLVM = awesome (and not = apple, who - like some others others - don't own it and didn't start it, but use it and hire some devs to contribute to it)

      I don't know where you get your groupthink opinions from.

      • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

        Not bad, except that anything good Apple does is quickly attributed to someone else. Like the guy above who proclaimed loudly that OpenCL was AMD's answer to CUDA.

      • by smash ( 1351 )
        CLANG / LLVM is funded by Apple, btw, specifically so they can get away from GCC.
  • Especially with baseline video on chip the video hardware is a better floating point unit. I think it would be better to scrap most of the FPU cores and put more integer cores on chip. It saves both power and chip real estate.

    • Either that, or revert back to the old days, when FPUs came separately, like the 487s. Essentially, make CPUs that are just integer units, and include a separate (and optional) floating point unit in the chipset. That FPU could even use different types of RAM that are even faster than standard DRAMS. That way, it could be a custom solution for the engineering segment of the market, such as CAD simulations and so on.
    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      Standard video hardware is a crappy FPU for most things. The only time it works really well is if you've got an embarrassingly parallel problem with a high computational demand. You don't want to be offloading it to the GPU every time you need to add a couple of numbers.

      You might get away with it in the hybrid CPUs that have the GPU and CPU integrated in one package, but you'd still be better off with a separate single purpose FPU.

  • Intel has released its first version of Beignet, ... LLVM/Clang ...Ivy Bridge ... OpenCL 1.0 and 1.1 ...Gallium 3D... David Arlie ...fd.o ...Mesa.

    Could we please have more jargon and name-checks in the summary?

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker