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OpenCL Compiler Ships
 for Multi-Core ARM

Compilers and tools supplier The Portland Group has announced the availability of the PGI OpenCL framework for ARM-based ST-Ericsson NovaThor platforms. The framework includes a PGI OpenCL compiler for multi-core ARM CPUs as a compute device and complements OpenCL for GPUs.

NovaThor is an integrated mobile product platform with performance optimized multi-core ARM Cortex A-series CPUs, graphics processors, multimedia engines, and the latest mobile broadband and connectivity technologies.

The key to this announcement is perhaps the fact that The Portland Group now extends its product line to encompass both OpenCL and multi-core ARM-based microprocessors.

Note: OpenCL is a programming model for heterogenous computing systems comprised of CPUs, GPUs, and other computing devices, and has been standardized by Kronos and adopted by a number of CPU and GPU manufacturers including Intel, AMD/ATI, NVIDIA, and Imagination Technologies. PGI OpenCL is the first OpenCL compiler for Android targeting multi-core ARM processors as an OpenCL compute device. ARM processors power the vast majority of mobile and embedded computing platforms.

"PGI OpenCL enables mobile and embedded developers to create multi-core applications that are more easily portable across the major mobile operating systems," said Douglas Miles, director, The Portland Group. "It includes support for multi-core ARM on ST-Ericsson NovaThor platforms today and is designed for future integration of OpenCL device compilers for GPUs and hardware accelerators."

In the OpenCL programming model, the host CPU controls all operation of a compute device The device can be a GPU, another CPU, the host CPU itself running in multi-core mode, or some other type of compute device. The PGI OpenCL framework is comprised of five core components with the initial release providing OpenCL 1.1 embedded profile support.

The PGI OpenCL framework runs on Linux/x86 compilation host platforms and is integrated with the Android NDK toolchain to generate binary executables for ST-Ericsson NovaThor platforms running the Android operating system. It includes support for the many of the latest features and technologies including:

  • ARMv7 code generation, including automatic generation of NEON SIMD instructions for operations on OpenCL vector data types
  • Offline static compilation of OpenCL programs and kernels
  • A command-level interface designed to enable incremental and seamless integration into existing makefiles and application build infrastructures

In addition to its advanced multimedia capabilities, NovaThor platform is the first integrated smartphone platform to offer the latest SMP (Symmetric Multi-Processing) dual core technology in a high-performance, low power, and cost-optimized package, enabling an immersive multimedia experience for next-generation smartphones. Both cores are identical and can be used independently or combined as one processing engine.

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