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04 July 2011, 15:46

WebCL: GPU power for the browser

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Khronos Logo The WebCL standard was defined within the independent Khronos Group industry consortium and uses JavaScript to provide access to GPU-based operations via the OpenCL framework. Earlier this year Nokia released a WebCL extension for Firefox; developers can now also use WebCL under WebKit – Samsung has made its WebCL prototype for WebKit available to download free of charge at Google Code under a New BSD License.

The prototype's design and implementation are said to be closely modeled on the WebGL. For instance, a typical application is first said to create a WebCLComputeContext which can then be used to access OpenCL APIs. Samsung's prototype currently only works with Mac OS X and requires an NVIDIA graphics card that supports OpenCL 1.0.

Combined with the WebGL and other standards, WebCL will allow developers to create web applications that have so far only been available for desktop environments; for example photo and video editing software, scientific simulators and certain games.

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