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UXL, Khronos team on portable Safety Critical SYCL

UXL, Khronos team on portable Safety Critical SYCL

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By Nick Flaherty



The UXL Foundation is working with the Khronos Group on SYCL and C++ libraries for safety critical applications as well as heterogeneous AI and high performance computing applications.

UXL and Khronos plan to align their strengths, particularly in how SYCL from Khronos evolves to meet developer requirements in safety critical applications as well as supporting and complementing the UXL Foundation OneAPI libraries, and open source projects—and vice versa.

This is intended to help developers write performance portable heterogeneous applications from a single C++ code base. The specification is now well established for use across multi-vendor HPC and AI acceleration platforms. Work is also ongoing at Khronos on SYCL SC (Safety Critical); a derivative of SYCL designed to streamline safety certification in automotive, avionics, industrial, and medical markets.

The SYCL standard is defined by members of the Khronos Group and was initiated to enable code for heterogeneous and offload processors to be written using modern C++ and to feed into the discussions on future ISO C++ releases. The SYCL SC Working Group and UXL Foundation Safety Critical Special Interest Group will share expertise to accelerate the integration of SYCL and libraries and projects in systems that can be certified to safety standards such as ISO 26262 or DO-178C.

The UXL Foundation defines the oneAPI specification which includes APIs to drive high performance libraries for C++ parallel routines, math, data analytics, AI, and more. Open source projects that implement the oneAPI specification use the SYCL standard to bring acceleration to diverse targets including AMD, ARM, Intel and Nvidia chips.

Khronos is responsible for defining the specification and extensions under its IP framework, with associated conformance tests, and UXL is focused on the ongoing development of the oneAPI libraries, and coordinating feedback on use cases and high-level requirements to further drive the evolution of the specification.

The projects help to expand the SYCL ecosystem by enabling highly optimized libraries for domains including BLAS, FFT, and neural networks. To ensure cross-platform portability, oneAPI implementations are required to be conformant to the SYCL 2020 specification and selected extensions.   

“The Khronos Group warmly welcomes the UXL Foundation to the community of open standards organizations and are delighted that the Khronos SYCL standard provides the programming model that underpins the Foundation’s multi-architecture and multi-vendor accelerated libraries. We look forward to a close cooperation with the Foundation as part of our shared mission to help developers use SYCL to write performance portable heterogeneous applications from a single C++ code base,” said Dr Tom Deakin at the University of Bristol and Khronos SYCL Working Group Chair.

“The UXL Foundation has a transformative vision for the future of accelerated computing. By building on the oneAPI specification and harnessing industry based open standards like SYCL and ISO C++ we are defining a vendor neutral way to develop software for heterogeneous architectures by embracing neutrality and independence,” said Rod Burns, Vice President, Ecosystem Codeplay and Chair of the UXL Foundation Steering Committee.

“This liaison encourages communication between Khronos and the UXL Foundation, and will boost the exchange of requirements, use cases and feedback in both directions. In a specialized industry like Safety Critical it is particularly important for experts to collaborate and exchange ideas and for specification authors, implementers and integrators to work together to ensure the safety of the whole,” said Verena Beckham, Vice President, Safety Engineering Codeplay, Khronos SYCL SC Working Group Chair and UXL Safety Critical Special Interest Group Chair.

Khronos and UXL will coordinate the development of tooling and technologies that help developers use SYCL to write performance portable heterogeneous applications from a single C++ code base. The UXL Foundation libraries build on SYCL to provide high performance implementations of important computational patterns from numerical linear algebra, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and data analytics, and so together provide a richer cross-platform ecosystem in which application developers can thrive.

Safety Critical Website; Specification and Extensions; UXL Special Interest Groups 

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