Khronos Group Releases OpenCL 3.0

April 30, 2020 Tiera Oliver

The Khronos Group publicly releases the OpenCL 3.0 Provisional Specifications. OpenCL 3.0 realigns the OpenCL roadmap to enable developer-requested functionality to be deployed by hardware vendors. 

According to the company, OpenCL 3.0 increases deployment flexibility by empowering conformant OpenCL implementations to focus on functionality relevant to their target markets. OpenCL 3.0 also integrates subgroup functionality into the core specification, ships with a new OpenCL C 3.0 language specification, uses a new unified specification format, and introduces extensions for asynchronous data copies to enable a new class of embedded processors. The provisional OpenCL 3.0 specifications enable the developer community to provide feedback on GitHub before the specifications and conformance tests are finalized.

OpenCL 3.0 makes all functionality beyond version 1.2 optional. All OpenCL 1.2 applications will continue to run unchanged on any OpenCL 3.0 device. All OpenCL 2.X features are defined in the new unified specification, and current OpenCL 2.X implementations that upgrade to OpenCL 3.0 can continue to ship with their existing functionality with full backwards compatibility. All OpenCL 2.X API features can be queried, and OpenCL C 3.0 adds macros for querying optional language features.

For C++ kernel development, the OpenCL Working Group has transitioned from the original OpenCL C++ kernel language, defined in OpenCL 2.2, to the 'C++ for OpenCL' community, open-source project supported by Clang. C++ for OpenCL provides compatibility with OpenCL C, enables developers to use most C++17 features in OpenCL kernels, and is compatible with any OpenCL 2.X or OpenCL 3.0 implementation that supports SPIR-V ingestion.

The Extended Asynchronous Copy and Asynchronous Work Group Copy Fence extensions released alongside OpenCL 3.0 enable DMA transactions as first class citizens in OpenCL-ideal for Scratch Pad Memory based devices, which require control over buffer allocation. 

To accompany the release, the OpenCL Working Group has updated its OpenCL Resource Guide to help computing specialists, developers and researchers of all skill levels effectively harness the power of OpenCL. 

For more information, visit: www.khronos.org

About the Author

Tiera Oliver, edtorial intern for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits as well as newsletter updates. She also assists in news content as far as constructing and editing stories. Before interning for ECD, Tiera had recently graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.A. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university's student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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