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Intel started investment in OpenCL™ software technology with 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processors (formerly "IvyBridge"), by releasing OpenCL™ 1.1 Drivers for Microsoft* Windows* in 2010. Since then, certified OpenCL Drivers have been an integral part of Intel’s unified graphics driver package for Windows. Intel maintains API leadership of OpenCL software technology:

  • OpenCL 1.2 software technology update for 3rd Generation Intel® Core Processors (IvyBridge) in 2011

  • First vendor to certify OpenCL 2.0 software technology on 5th Generation Intel® Core Processors (Broadwell) in 2014

  • First vendor to certify OpenCL 2.1 software technology on 6th Generation Intel® Core Processors (KabyLake) in 2016.

This OpenCL Driver stack was ported to Linux* and released in 2015 through as a closed-source binary package. It was then periodically refreshed with the new platforms and features, as well as bundled with other software packages, including Intel® Media Server Studio, Intel® Computer Vision SDK, and Intel® SDK for OpenCL™ applications.

In parallel, to address community interest and growing demand for open-source drivers, the Open Source Technology Center at Intel created Beignet* OpenCL driver for Linux in 2013. Beignet matured over the years, with the latest 1.3 release in 2017 supporting OpenCL 2.0 software technology on 5th Generation Intel® Core Processors (Broadwell) and beyond.

In 2016, Intel started consolidating OpenCL software technology engineering support in an effort to provide a single unified offering for all the customers. The result is a new and improved OpenCL Driver stack (informally known as “Neo”), that is intended to replace both previous closed-source driver (aka “Classic”) as well as the Beignet driver. Neo is a cross-platform, open source driver provided under MIT license, created in modern C++, and developed using Test Driven Development methodology. Neo (Compute Runtime) uses the following ingredients to deliver a complete OpenCL Driver stack:

• Intel-owned



Intel® Graphics Compute Runtime for OpenCL™ Driver

Intel® Graphics Compiler

Intel® Graphics Memory Management Library

LLVM* Patches for Intel® Graphics Compute Runtime

OpenCL™ Common Clang


  • Third Party



OpenCL™ ICD Loader

OpenCL™ API Headers



Neo brings OpenCL 2.1 software technology support to SKL+ Core GPUs on Linux, with OpenCL 2.2 software technology support coming later in 2018. By supporting all product segments with a single driver, we will maintain a consistent feature set across all current and future hardware platforms.

Following the initial release, Intel intends to actively develop and maintain the new driver, adding features, optimizations, and support for future platforms. We encourage all the former users of Beignet and Classic to switch to Neo.

Feel free to provide feedback by submitting issue(s) on Bear with us as we go through growing pains with the new project.

For more details, refer to on

OpenCL and the OpenCL logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. used by permission by Khronos.