[libre-riscv-dev] Vulkan vs OpenCL and Alternatives

Jacob Lifshay programmerjake at gmail.com
Fri Mar 6 21:26:19 GMT 2020

On Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 12:33 Immanuel, Yehowshua U <yimmanuel3 at gatech.edu>

> So one question that I’ve been thinking about is “how good is Vulkan” for
> That is, how easy is it to express thing like matmul and dot in Vulkan?

basically, just as easy as OpenCL, though slightly different. If you only
want small matrices (2x2 through 4x4 -- includes stuff like 3x4 or 4x2),
it's built directly into SPIR-V, otherwise you will need a library.

> How does it compare against OpenCL. From a practical standpoint, I think
> it makes more sense for us to support Vulkan since Apple, the original
> proponents of OpenCL withdrew their support from the standard a few years
> ago anyways.
> Also, will the LibreSOC “GPU” be able to execute OpenCL code? I imagine
> that we could compile OpenCL into SPIR-V and then perhaps have some SPIR-V
> driver evaluate the SPIR-V?

there's clspv -- an OpenCL C to Vulkan SPIR-V compiler -- Adobe used it to
port Photoshop to Android (if I recall correctly)

there's also clvk -- an experimental OpenCL to Vulkan translator written on
top of clspv

> I bring all this up because, even though I favor Vulkan, many applications
> are still being written in OpenCL, and from a business customer
> perspective, I imagine that many of our potential customers are probably
> more familiar with OpenCL  - at l-east more so than Vulkan…
> @Jacob - can I get your input on this - especially since you are working
> on the Vulkan drivers?
> Yehowshua
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