Getting started


I am a fairly experienced programmer (C, C++, Perl, x86 assembly…) and I would like to get started using OpenCL. I was hoping I could just start by using multiple CPU cores as my device, but every tutorial I’ve found starts by telling me I need an AMD or NVidia graphics card. I really would prefer to just use my laptop (which runs ubuntu 10.10 and doen’t have a fancy graphics card) while I try to figure out the basic syntax of the language, how to compile, etc. I can worry about running on a GPU later.

Is this possible, or do I have to use a real GPU to even compile and run “Hello World”?


Hi Alvaro,

You don’t need a GPU to start programming OpenCL. AMD’s APP SDK, previously known as ATI/AMD Stream SDK, works fine with any x86 CPU.

Intel also has OpenCL drivers but AFAIK they are still in alpha.

Thank you, David.

I downloaded the ATI Stream SDK and managed to sort of get it to work. I’ve gotten to the frustrating situation where the “Hello world” program in the samples gives me a segmentation fault when I run it directly, but it works fine if I run it from gdb. A classic heisenbug!

I think I’m not making enough progress, so I’ll try the more traditional route of working with a real GPU.