AMD launches open source platform to advance GPU computing



AMD has expanded its presence in the world of open source by launching an all-new Radeon Open Compute Platform (ROCm). The chip maker has also revealed its plans to integrate OpenCL to deliver the “most versatile” open source platform for GPU computing.

Unlike the original ROCm, the latest version has software support of new Radeon GPU hardware as well as advanced math libraries and a foundation of modern programming languages. These features help in unlocking new solutions for high performing and hyperscale computing.

“ROCm is a platform for a new era of GPU problem-solving, designed to harness the power of open source software to unlock new solutions for HPC and hyperscale computing,” said Raja Koduri, senior vice president and chief architect, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD.

The latest platform supports all Polaris architecture-based graphics products, starting from Radeon RX 460 and Radeon RX 470 to Radeon Pro WX 5100 and 7100. There is a heterogeneous-compute interface (HIP) for portability to let developers port their CUDA applications to ROCm through HIPIFY. Likewise, the open source technology has a heterogeneous compute compiler (HCC) to compile developments for both CPU and GPU.

Notably, there is Docker containerisation support to enable deployment of applications in ROCm-powered Linux servers. The platform also includes math acceleration libraries with support for BLAS, FFT and N-dimensional tensor contractions.

Experts believe that the launch of the new ROCm will bring high-performance computing benefits directly to developers and uplift the existing IT hardware.

“An open source approach to heterogeneous computing can help bring the benefits of high-performance computing directly to developers, providing the flexibility for them to use available compute resources and extract the best possible performance from their available hardware,” said Denise Dumas, vice president, platform engineering, Red Hat.

ROCm with OpenCL

Alongside the ROCm launch, AMD has announced that it is set to expand the open source development by bringing planned support of OpenCL. The release is also likely to support architectures such as AMD Zen, AArch64, Cavium ThunderX and IBM Power 8.

You can download this second-generation ROCm directly from GitHub. The online repository also includes a detailed documentation to enable its easy deployment.


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