AMD announced the launch of the GPUOpen initiative. It is essentially a collection of code, documentation and tools for accessing modern day GPUs. Although they may not be winning too many battles on the silicon front, AMD’s software initiatives have certainly had an impact, such as Mantle essentially becoming Vulkan, the next version of OpenGL. For game developers, GPUOpen is essentially a collection of DX11 libraries, DX12 code samples and tools such as codeXL an offline compiler and performance analyzer for OpenCL kernels as well as OpenGL and Direct X shaders. The full selection of tool is available here. In addition to game focused tools, there are also a set of performance computing (think big data) built around utilizing GPUs for massively parallel data processing.
From the GPUOpen blog:
Today is the day we launch GPUOpen.
GPUOpen is composed of two areas: Games & CGI for game graphics and content creation (which is the area I am involved with), and Professional Compute for high-performance GPU computing in professional applications.
GPUOpen is based on three principles:
The first is to provide code and documentation allowing PC developers to exert more control on the GPU. Current and upcoming GCN architectures (such as Polaris) include many features not exposed today in PC graphics APIs, and GPUOpen aims to empower developers with ways to leverage some of those features. In addition to generating quality or performance advantages such access will also enable easier porting from current-generation consoles (XBox One™ and PlayStation 4) to the PC platform.
The second is a commitment to open source software. The game and graphics development community is an active hub of enthusiastic individuals who believe in the value of sharing knowledge. Full and flexible access to the source of tools, libraries and effects is a key pillar of the GPUOpen philosophy. Only through open source access are developers able to modify, optimize, fix, port and learn from software. The goal? Encouraging innovation and the development of amazing graphics techniques and optimizations in PC games.
The third is a collaborative engagement with the developer community. GPUOpen software is hosted on public source code repositories such as GitHub as a way to enable sharing and collaboration. Engineers from different functions will also regularly write blog posts about various GPU-related topics, game technologies or industry news.
By Developers, For Developers
A critical design goal was to have GPUOpen created by developers, for developers, keeping marketing elements to a minimum. The creation of the Radeon Technology Group led by Raja Koduri was key in turning GPUOpen into a reality and I am very excited that this project is now being launched.
Today is the birth of GPUOpen and like any newborn it has some growing to do. As we add new content over the next few months we will be listening to developers feedback and respond as needed.
It’s time to open up the GPU.