OpenCL

So I woke up this morning thinking about OpenCL and the fact that Apple was implementing it in Snow Leopard, the next release of MacOS X.

The question I was left with is this. Will I be able to add graphics cards to my system without attaching a monitor to them and be able to use them? My guess is yes, and that would allow one to build a pretty powerful machine with some heavyweight video cards which would be used for computation only, and a lightweight video card for the display.

This is not new. Over the past 20 years I have seen daughter boards with CPUs on them come and go and they all come with their own proprietary APIs. My instinct tells me that OpenCL will be different. The proof of course will be the ability to write an app which uses OpenCL and runs on ATI or NVIDIA without changes.

This also reminds me of a conversation a while back with a colleague about this very subject. The problem at the time was that nothing was standardized and all the servers we had sported ATI Rage 128 graphics which, even then, was not that great.

I wonder if we are going to start seeing servers with powerful GPUs built-in?

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