Altera to support OpenCL

OpenCL can now be used to program hardware directly.

If you think that OpenCL is only for software nerds, then you have to think again as Altera Corporation (NASDAQ:ALTR) has just released a beta version of its OpenCL for FPGAs, according to a press release from the company. This should be good news for hardware geeks.

OpenCL is a highly parallel programming language that is maintained by an open consortium led by the Khronos Group.  Using OpenCL to program FPGAs gives a significant advantage since it is much faster than using traditional HDL’s (High Level Description Languages).

“The OpenCL standard enables designers to accelerate their designs and improve their productivity by taking advantage of parallel architectures within the C programming environment,” said Udi Landen, vice president of software and IP engineering at Altera. “We have been actively engaged in OpenCL development for years, and are now collaborating with the industry consortium, customers’ system architects, and academia to drive FPGA support in the OpenCL standard.”

Altera’s OpenCL support gives extra advantages to the CPU+FPGA combination that allows certain tasks to be off loaded to the FPGA, but with the new advantage that it is much easier and faster to program.S|A

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