oneAPI and SYCL Take Center Stage at SC21

Opening keynote from SC’21

For presenters and attendees alike, oneAPI and SYCL were major topics of discussion at the 2021 Supercomputing Conference (SC), held Nov. 14-19 in St. Louis, MO.

Since 1988, SC has grown steadily to become the world’s major event for high-performance computing, networking, storage, and analysis, attracting some 13,000 attendees. After the pandemic forced a virtual event in 2020, SC21 organizers returned to a live conference format – and a significant portion of industry presentations, booth demos, and floor conversations concerned the future of oneAPI.


Panel discussion at SC’21 on the oneAPI Software Abstraction for Heterogeneous Computing
Various aspects of oneAPI figured prominently in a number of SC21 sessions, among them:

  • Julia is a general-purpose programming language that emphasizes high-performance scientific computing. This study evaluates Julia’s HPC compatibility and compares results with oneAPI SYCL and other parallel programming frameworks.
  • Reductions are a common pattern in parallel programming, and each language has its idiosyncrasies. This paper presents benchmarks to explore oneAPI DPC++ Library (oneDPL) and four other languages to discern the pros and cons of each reduction abstraction.
  • The emergence of new HPC hardware architectures has raised demand for efficient software solutions for heterogeneous parallelism. This paper describes challenges and solutions for implementing SYCL specialization constants in oneAPI DPC++ compilers.
  • oneAPI open-source math library interface introduces SYCL-based open-source interfaces for math primitives and the oneMKL open-source interface project as a viable way to bridge the performance portability gap across HPC architectures.
  • Extending SYCL hierarchical parallelism allows single-source programming of diverse attached devices in a cross-platform manner, providing different layers of parallel abstractions. Speakers discuss Scoped Parallelism as an extension to the existing Hierarchical Parallelism in SYCL and highlight advantages and disadvantages from the perspective of the programmer and implementer.

Intel-hosted oneAPI Developer Summit Dives Deep into Cross-Architecture Development
In advance of the six-day SC21 event, Intel sponsored a Day Zero oneAPI Developer Summit for deep dives into cross-architecture programming solutions. From hands-on tutorials and tech talks to expert panels and demos, the oneAPI DevSummit showcased the myriad aspects and applications for cross-architecture software development using the oneAPI model.

A host of oneAPI-related topics were explored, including AI analytics, performance analysis tools, and libraries.

The Summit featured 43 industry experts from universities, public and private research centers, and technology companies worldwide. Key presentations included:

  • The oneAPI Software Abstraction for Heterogeneous Computing – At the core of oneAPI is the DPC++ programming language, which builds on the ISO C++ and Khronos SYCL standards to provide parallel constructs and offload interfaces to support a broad range of accelerators. In addition to DPC++, oneAPI also provides libraries for compute- and data-intensive domains: deep learning, scientific computing, video analytics, and media processing.
  • Performance Portability and Evaluation of Heterogeneous Components of SeisSol Targeted to Upcoming Intel HPC GPUs – Presenters shared their recent results from integrating the oneAPI programming model into SeisSol, a software package for simulating seismic waves and earthquake dynamics.
  • Developing for Nvidia GPUs using SYCL with oneAPI – This hands-on workshop introduced the basics of how to set up a development environment to use SYCL to target Nvidia GPUs using oneAPI, and how to migrate code from CUDA to SYCL.
  • Acceleration of Integrated Circuit Simulation Using SYCL and oneAPI – Presenters demonstrate the acceleration of LU decomposition as the core algorithm in solving circuits using SYCL and oneAPI on CPU and GPU.

Recordings of the event presentations and panel discussions are available here.

HPCwire named oneAPI the Best HPC Programming Tool or Technology, one of 11 awards won by Intel.

As industry momentum for oneAPI continues to accelerate, SC remains an important show for Intel – especially as new supercomputing innovations are driven by Intel® technology. In fact, HPCwire named oneAPI “Best HPC Programming Tool or Technology” as part of its SC21 Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards.

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