WebCL – Browser Based Compute

WebCL_LogoIn 2012 the Khronos working group on WebCL (Web Computing Language) released a draft specification and Matthew Scarpino the author of OpenCL in Action and the openclblog.com has published a great article on how WebCL can be used to accelerate data-processing routines, such as data sorting, text searching, and solving systems of matrices.

WebCL is a JavaScript binding to OpenCL and is intended to enable web applications to harness GPU and multicore CPU parallel processing from within a web browser. At the moment preliminary implementations are only available on the desktop using WebKit and Firefox, but the hope is that WebCL will soon be available for mobiles and tablets - once the security issues are resolved.  If you know of any public non-desktop implementations, please let me know.

It’s a really good read with Matt concluding that:

“When you consider how much power WebCL provides, it may seem odd that there are so few browser extensions available. The problem is security. As a kernel executes, it can produce errors such as infinite loops or deadlocks. This isn’t a big deal for CPUs, but as I’ve learned from experience, GPU errors can freeze a computer. Ctrl-C and Ctrl-Alt-Delete won’t help. The system must be restarted. To remedy this issue, GPU manufacturers have promised to add greater security to their offerings. This means users will be able to interrupt or halt GPU execution without crashing their system. If this comes into common usage, WebCL will transform from an oddity to a necessity. With WebCL’s high-speed execution, browser applications will be able to process data and render graphics with the same performance as regular desktop applications.”

Checkout the full article:  http://ibm.co/ZXsoDt

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