Path: EDN Asia >> Product Centre >> IC/Board/Systems Design >> SDK update for OpenCL maximises FPGA performance
IC/Board/Systems Design Share print

SDK update for OpenCL maximises FPGA performance

09 May 2013  | Stephen Evanczuk

Share this page with your friends

Altera has recently announced the availability of the SDK for OpenCL. The company's latest offering allows software programmers to easily offload compute-intensive functions to FPGA hardware. With SDK for OpenCL, software developers combine their standard C code with functions written in OpenCL C that run through the OpenCL compiler. The compiler translates the OpenCL C device code into a hardware configuration file, which the loader loads onto the FPGA.

 OpenCL C functions

Figure 1: Software developers write OpenCL C functions, which are translated into kernel programs running on the target FPGA hardware.

 Altera SDK

Figure 2: The Altera SDK for OpenCL compiler generates an FPGA hardware configuration file that is loaded onto the FPGA.


Figure 3: Specialised FGPA interconnect structures are designed to connect efficiently to external PCIe and DDR interfaces as well as on-chip RAM.

The Altera SDK for OpenCL includes a compiler, loader, and a host runtime, which provides host a platform API and runtime API. The runtime API includes a static library that provides OpenCL host APIs and a dynamic library that provides the low-level interface to the FPGA via the PCIe bus interface.

A significant challenge in this type of design typically lies in ensuring maximum throughput between the host and acceleration hardware. The Altera toolset builds on specialised interconnect structures designed to ensure maximum throughput via high-speed external interfaces such as PCIe and DDR and with on-chip RAM. Besides adding IP and other logic, the Altera SDK for OpenCL handles timing closure, place and route, and partitioning transparently for the developer.

Altera's SDK for OpenCL can be downloaded here. The annual software subscription for the SDK for OpenCL is $995 for a node-locked PC license.

Want to more of this to be delivered to you for FREE?

Subscribe to EDN Asia alerts and receive the latest design ideas and product news in your inbox.

Got to make sure you're not a robot. Please enter the code displayed on the right.

Time to activate your subscription - it's easy!

We have sent an activate request to your registerd e-email. Simply click on the link to activate your subscription.

We're doing this to protect your privacy and ensure you successfully receive your e-mail alerts.

Add New Comment
Visitor (To avoid code verification, simply login or register with us. It is fast and free!)
*Verify code:
Tech Impact

Regional Roundup
Control this smart glass with the blink of an eye
K-Glass 2 detects users' eye movements to point the cursor to recognise computer icons or objects in the Internet, and uses winks for commands. The researchers call this interface the "i-Mouse."

GlobalFoundries extends grants to Singapore students
ARM, Tencent Games team up to improve mobile gaming

News | Products | Design Features | Regional Roundup | Tech Impact