Join Codeplay Online at IWOCL & SYCLcon 2020

Posted on April 20, 2020 by Rod Burns.

Codeplay looks forward to IWOCL every year since the conference is laser focused on two of our favorite topics - OpenCL and SYCL. This year we're particularly excited to be part of the first co-hosted IWOCL and SYCLcon, with SYCL bringing a full track of presentations to the event.

Due to unprecedented restrictions following the COVID-19 outbreak, IWOCL and SYCLcon organizers decided to move the entire conference online. This means we won't be able to meet face to face with members of the developer community which is a real shame - however bringing this online allows a much wider global audience to participate.

As at every IWOCL conference, Codeplay is involved in a variety of activities. This year we will be represented in one tutorial, four presentations, and two panel sessions. (See more details below.)

How Will an Online IWOCL and SYCLcon Work?

You may not have been part of an online conference before and are wondering how they will work, and how you can participate. The conference will consist of live sessions alongside recorded talks that you can watch at your leisure. The live sessions will allow you to ask the speakers questions interactively and engage in conversations with other attendees through Slack channels. The recorded sessions can be viewed at your leisure. Even the poster sessions will include a short video with an explanation of the work they demonstrate. All you need to do to access everything is register on the conference website.

What can I Expect at IWOCL and SYCLcon 2020?

It's been a while since the last SYCL specification (v1.2.1) was ratified. We expect to see an evolution of the SYCL specification in 2020. The IWOCL & SYCLcon events could be a perfect opportunity to talk about more details and what the timelines for a new spec and adoption look like. There are certainly some clues of what to expect, with Michael Wong, VP Research & Development at Codeplay and Chair of the SYCL Working Group, presenting the latest updates on SYCL in the live session on Tuesday 28th of April . Gordon Brown's presentation "SYCL 2020: More than meets they eye" is also on the program schedule and we expect this to bring even more details on the next version of the SYCL standard. Gordon is a Principal Software Engineer at Codeplay and part of the SYCL Working Group. Other SYCL Working Group members will also present their feature proposals for the next version of SYCL.

The breadth of hardware support for SYCL developers continues to increase, and Codeplay is helping to accelerate this and show that SYCL can offer an open standard alternative to CUDA. A large contribution to the DPC++ compiler was made by Codeplay earlier this year, adding support for NVIDIA processors. We have previously worked on an implementation that used ptx and OpenCL to translate SYCL code to a representation that can be understood by NVIDIA hardware; however, this new approach compiles the code directly into CUDA, adding both portability and performance. Codeplay has extended this support to the oneMKL BLAS library, harnessing the cuBLAS library for NVIDIA GPUs and the open standard SYCL and DPC++ implementation. This implementation is optimized to bring native performance to developers using NVIDIA GPUs. Ruyman Reyes, Principal Software Engineer at Codeplay, will present how these implementations were achieved in the talk Bringing performant support for NVIDIA® hardware to SYCL.

There's been a lot of talk on who will be the first country to build an exascale supercomputer, and it looks like it will be the USA led by Argonne National Laboratories and Intel. What's significant about this is that the preferred programming model for this powerful supercomputer will be SYCL. You can watch a video of Thomas Applencourt and Kevin Harms from Argonne outline plans for using SYCL on Aurora, their exascale supercomputer. It will definitely be worth watching the keynote SYCLcon talk from Hal Finkel entitled "Preparing to program Aurora at Exascale: Early experiences and future directions." This will provide more details on their plans for writing massively parallel software for this groundbreaking machine.

The IWOCL is also about OpenCL and there will be several interesting OpenCL talks at IWOCL. This year, you can watch Alastair Murray and Ewan Crawford from Codeplay presenting "ComputeAorta: A Toolkit for Implementing Heterogeneous Programming Models." Over the years Codeplay has worked with many companies to enable software developers to make the most of their processor architectures. We have developed and used ComputeAorta to provide an interface capable of delivering open standards including OpenCL and Vulkan compute for a variety of processor architectures. This talk will detail how ComputeAorta works, and how it enables a wide ecosystem of libraries and frameworks for software developers.

In addition, there will be a live panel, with Michael Wong and Alastair Murray from Codeplay participating alongside representatives from other companies closely involved in the OpenCL and SYCL Khronos standards.

SYCL Tutorial Sessions

If you haven't done SYCL development, or need some help gaining a solid foundation we have something perfect for you. This year Codeplay has brought together members from all the SYCL implementations and will deliver a SYCL tutorial over two days. The materials and hands-on exercises use much of the SYCL Academy project lessons and are designed to enable attendees to write simple SYCL applications. The sessions will be delivered live, split over two days, and timed to allow as many people from around the world to participate. They will begin at 8am PT/3pm GMT on the 27th and 29th of April.

For a list of what's involved and to register for this unique learning opportunity go to this page.

How Can I Watch The Talks?

Just register on the IWOCL/SYCLcon website to get free access for all the sessions. You'll be sent instructions before the conference on how to join the live sessions, and links to where the recorded presentations will be available when published from the 27th to 29th of April.

Talk to Codeplay at IWOCL & SYCLcon

A big part of any conference experience is talking to other attendees, having interesting discussions, and learning new things from your peers. We'd like to make it possible to interact with attendees from Codeplay as if the conference were a physical event.

The conference has set up Slack channels that enable participants to chat, debate and provide an opportunity to ask the presenters questions on their talks. More details will be shared by the organizers.

Additionally, if you participate in the SYCL tutorial sessions, or the live talks you can post your questions live on our channels and the team will be online ready to answer and discuss them.

You can also engage with the team on social media channels.

Our CEO Andrew Richards is a regular on Twitter, and is always keen to debate about parallel programming and processors.

Rod Burns, our Developer Relations Manager is on Twitter and is always interested to know what developers are looking for from SYCL

Gordon Brown, Principal Software Engineer, is on Twitter and part of the SYCL Working Group, helping to define the standard. Ask Gordon if you have a tricky SYCL question.


Join us and many others from the community for IWOCL and SYCLcon online. Register on the event website and log on from the 27th-29th of April.