At Supercomputing 2019, Intel unveiled their oneAPI initiative for heterogenous computing, promising to deliver a unified programming experience for developers.
Here is an overview of the Intel oneAPI unified programming model, and what it means for programmers!
The Need For Intel oneAPI
The modern computing environment is now a lot less CPU-centric, with the greater adoption of GPUs, FGPAs and custom-built accelerators (like the Alibaba Hanguang 800).
Their different scalar, vector, matrix and spatial architectures require different APIs and code bases, which complicates attempts to utilise a mix of those capabilities.
Intel oneAPI For Heterogenous Computing
Intel oneAPI promises to change all that, offering a unified programming model for those different architectures.
It allows developers to create workloads and applications for multiple architectures on their platform of choice, without the need to develop and maintain separate code bases, tools and workflow.
Intel oneAPI comprises of two components – the open industry initiative, and the Intel oneAPI beta toolkit :
This is a cross-architecture development model based on industry standards, and an open specification, to encourage broader adoption.
Intel oneAPI Beta Toolkit
This beta toolkit offers the Intel oneAPI specification components with direct programming (Data Parallel C++), API-based programming with performance libraries, advanced analysis and debug tools.
Developers can test code and workloads in the Intel DevCloud for oneAPI on multiple Intel architectures.
What Processors + Accelerators Are Supported By Intel oneAPI?
The beta Intel oneAPI reference implementation currently supports these Intel platforms :
- Intel Xeon Scalable processors
- Intel Core and Atom processors
- Intel processor graphics (as a proxy for future Intel discrete data centre GPUs)
- Intel FPGAs (Intel Arria, Stratix)
The oneAPI specification is designed to support a broad range of CPUs and accelerators from multiple vendors. However, it is up to those vendors to create their own oneAPI implementations and optimise them for their own hardware.
Are oneAPI Elements Open-Sourced?
Many oneAPI libraries and components are already, or will soon be open sourced.
What Companies Are Participating In The oneAPI Initiative?
According to Intel, more than 30 vendors and research organisations support the oneAPI initiative, including CERN openlab, SAP and the University of Cambridge.
Companies that create their own implementation of oneAPI and complete a self-certification process will be allowed to use the oneAPI initiative brand and logo.
Available Intel oneAPI Toolkits
At the time of its launch (17 November 2019), here are the toolkits that Intel has made available for developers to download and use :
Intel oneAPI Base Toolkit (Beta)
This foundational kit enables developers of all types to build, test, and deploy performance-driven, data-centric applications across CPUs, GPUs, and FPGAs. Comes with :
- Intel oneAPI Data Parallel C++ Compiler
- Intel Distribution for Python
- Multiple optimized libraries
- Advanced analysis and debugging tools
Domain Specific oneAPI Toolkits for Specialised Workloads :
- oneAPI HPC Toolkit (beta) : Deliver fast C++, Fortran, OpenMP, and MPI applications that scale.
- oneAPI DL Framework Developer Toolkit (beta) : Build deep learning frameworks or customize existing ones.
- oneAPI IoT Toolkit (beta) : Build high-performing, efficient, reliable solutions that run at the network’s edge.
- oneAPI Rendering Toolkit (beta) : Create high-performance, high-fidelity visualization applications.
Additional Toolkits, Powered by oneAPI
- Intel AI Analytics Toolkit (beta) : Speed AI development with tools for DL training, inference, and data analytics.
- Intel Distribution of OpenVINO Toolkit : Deploy high-performance inference applications from device to cloud.
- Intel System Bring-Up Toolkit (beta) : Debug and tune systems for power and performance.
You can download all of those toolkits here.
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