Intel Releases OpenCL 1.2 Driver and Tools Update for Ivy Bridge and Haswellby Rahul Garg on April 9, 2013 8:00 AM EST
Intel has released an updated OpenCL driver for their 3rd Generation Core (Ivy Bridge) and 4th Generation Core (which we can safely call as Haswell) products that brings OpenCL 1.2 support on both the CPU and the GPU, moving a step up from OpenCL 1.1 in previous releases. The driver also implements better integration with both Direct3D and OpenGL. The driver is for Windows 7 and 8 only. Intel has also released an updated SDK along with the driver. The full release notes for the SDK release can be found here. Intel also supports OpenCL 1.2 on Xeon Phi.
Also of note, Intel has also recently updated their VTune Amplifier 2013 tool to add support for collecting GPU performance metrics in OpenCL applications running on Intel GPUs. Now it is possible to collect metrics such as utilization of the Execution Unit (EU) array and usage of on-chip local memory and cache of Intel HD graphics from within VTune. This will enable programmers to better understand the performance characteristics of their code on Intel GPUs, and thus will allow them to optimize their code better. According to an Intel forum post, for full GPU functionality VTune does require that the BIOS in the developer's machine support an option to collect performance metrics on the Intel GPU. This may be problematic for some developers. For example, I have a notebook with HD 4000 but was not able to enable some metrics because my notebook's BIOS does not have this option.
AMD has provided similar tools (such as CodeXL), as well as OpenCL 1.2 drivers for their GPUs for quite a while. Nvidia provides mature profiling tools for CUDA applications but their OpenCL tooling has been lackluster at best and Nvidia drivers remain at OpenCL 1.1. Overall it is good to see Intel continuosly upgrading their driver and tool support for GPU computing APIs.