TensorFlow™ gets native support for PowerVR® GPUs via optimised open-source SYCL™ libraries

Posted on October 23, 2019 by Charles Macfarlane.

Open source SYCL neural network libraries optimised for PowerVR, with Codeplay making it easier for developers to port existing code


London, UK, and Santa Clara, USA; 23rd October 2019Imagination Technologies announces that developers working with TensorFlow will be able to target PowerVR GPUs directly thanks to newly optimised open source SYCL neural network libraries. The first release will be available in November 2019.
The SYCL version of TensorFlow supports a very large number of AI operations (see Graph 1) and is easily user-customisable, meaning that developers using the latest neural networks, or researching their own AI technologies, can run those networks out-of-the-box with high performance on PowerVR. Because TensorFlow SYCL support is both open source and open standards-based, it’s an ideal solution for developers who want to accelerate the latest AI technologies on low-power devices.


Graph 1 – TensorFlow Operations Supported by SYCL


SYCL is a royalty-free, open standards alternative to CUDA that breaks down ecosystem barriers providing more freedom for developers to write using standard C++, unlocking the performance benefits of GPU hardware and ensuring code portability.

Additionally, the Codeplay SYCL libraries allow applications to seamlessly leverage the IMGDNN PowerVR optimised API. IMGDNN is Imagination’s proprietary neural network graph compilation library that helps developers achieve the maximum performance from PowerVR GPUs and NNAs.

Key markets that can take advantage of this newly expanded ecosystem include automotive, data centre and smart cameras.

Neal Forse, Senior Director of Product Management, Imagination Technologies, says; “Working within an open standard framework gives developers peace of mind that their code won’t date or need to be rewritten. With access to the widely-used PowerVR GPU’s via SYCL, developers will have a powerful compute resource easily available under TensorFlow.”

Andrew Richards, CEO, Codeplay, says; “We are now seeing huge growth in market adoption of the SYCL standard. Renesas enables SYCL on their R-Car automotive AI platform and now Intel is including SYCL in their One API. This growth in standardisation for programming high performance accelerators like the PowerVR GPU will enable AI software developers to bring advanced intelligence to everything from tiny low-power battery devices to huge supercomputers.”

SYCL builds on the concepts and efficiency of Khronos OpenCL™. The PowerVR-optimised SYCL libraries – SYCL-DNN, SYCL-BLAS and Eigen – will be available on GitHub. A TensorFlow fork containing extended SYCL support is available from Codeplay’s GitHub.


About Codeplay Software
Codeplay Software is a world pioneer in acceleration technologies for AI, having developed some of the first tools to enable complex software, such as AI, to be accelerated using graphics processors. Today, most AI software, including for cars, is developed using graphics processors designed for video games. Codeplay is the world’s leading company providing the tools to enable software to be accelerated by graphics processors or the latest specialized AI processors. Codeplay works with the world's leading technology businesses to build advanced intelligence into devices ranging from smartphones to self-driving cars.

About Imagination Technologies
Imagination is a UK-based company that creates silicon and software IP (intellectual property) designed to give its customers an edge in a competitive global technology market. Its graphics, compute, vision & AI, and connectivity technologies enable outstanding power, performance and area (PPA), robust security, fast time-to-market and lower total cost of ownership. Products based on Imagination IP are used by billions of people across the globe in their phones, cars, homes, and workplaces. Imagination Technologies was acquired in 2017 by Canyon Bridge, global private equity investment fund. See www.imgtec.com.


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Codeplay’s Press Contacts:
Charles Macfarlane - charles.macfarlane@codeplay.com - +44(0) 131 466 0503

Imagination Technologies’ Press Contacts:
David Harold - david.harold@imgtec.com - +44 (0)1923 260 511
Jo Jones - jo.jones@imgtec.com - +44 (0)1923 260511