Harnessing AMD's APU
Embedded computer maker Congatec has announced that it supports OpenCL for Computer on Modules with AMD Fusion.
The move is seen as part of AMD's push of its Fusion technology in the embedded market. OpenCL is a software programming interface that gives developers control of the high performance graphics cores of AMD's Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) for a variety of non-graphical computing tasks.
When applied to embedded systems it means that for parallel tasks, the processor cores can offload jobs to the graphics unit and increasing overall system performance. Embedded computing is starting to be seen as the next big thing. Embedded circuits can be made cheaply and use less power than discrete components. Using OpenCL it would be possible to filter algorithms of photo editing programmes for encoding and converting video data.
In a press release Congatec said that if the requirements for an X86 architecture are met, it makes sense to use a gpu on graphics processing unit (gpgpu) instead of a dsp. The individual gpgpu graphics engines can be programmed via OpenCL and are flexible enough. AMD has been doing a lot to push software development kits for OpenCL programming. It says makes moving to a new type of data processing easier.
Congatec SoCs range from the multicore processor AMD T56N 1.6GHz dual core (L1 Cache 64KB, L2 Cache 512KB x2, 18 W) to the AMD G-T40R 1.0GHz single core (L1 Cache 64KB, L2 Cache 512KB, 5.5W). With OpenCL, the computing performance of the integrated Radeon graphics can also be roped in to non-graphics applications.