Very Interesting Article
"All well and good, but our experience with OpenCL has shown it to be a bear to program with."
Exactly. This is essentially what it comes down to. Does OpenCL make parallel programming of heterogeneous processors easy? The answer is no, of course, and the reason is not hard to understand. Multicore CPUs and GPUs are two incompatible approaches to parallel computing. The former is based on concurrent threads and MIMD (multiple instructions, multiple data) while the latter uses an SIMD (single instruction, multiple data) configuration. They are fundamentally differrent and no single interface will get around that fact. OpenCL is really two languages in one. Programmers will have to change their mode of thinking in order to take effective advantage of both technologies and this is the primary reason that heterogeneous processors will be a pain to program. The other is multithreading, which, we all know, is a royal pain in the arse in its own right.
Obviously what it needed is a new universal parallel software model, one that is supported by a single *homogeneous* processor architecture. Unfortunately for the major players, they have so much money and resources invested in last century's processor technologies that they are stuck in a rut of their own making. They are like the Titanic on a collision course with a monster iceberg. Unless the big players are willing and able to make an about-face in their thinking (can a Titanic turn on a dime?), I am afraid that the solution to the parallel programming crisis will have to come from elsewhere. A true maverick startup will eventually turn up and revolutionize the computer industry. And then there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth among the old guard.
Google "How to Solve the Parallel Programming Crisis" if you're interested in an alternative approach to parallel computing.