Intel accelerates innovation with software-first approach

At this year’s Intel Innovation, Intel showcased how its efforts and investments to foster an open ecosystem are catalyzing community innovation, from silicon to systems to apps and across all layers of the software stack.

Through a growing offering of platforms, tools and solutions, Intel is focused on helping developers be more productive and realize their potential for positive social good.

The company introduced new tools to support developers in artificial intelligence, security and quantum computing, and announced the first customers of its new certification service, Project Amber.

“We succeed in our software-first strategy by strengthening an open ecosystem that enables us to innovate together and continuously,” said Greg Lavender, chief technology officer, Intel.

“We are committed members of the developer community, and our breadth and depth of hardware and software assets make it easy to scale opportunities for everyone through co-innovation and collaboration.”

Lavender also emphasized Intel’s commitment to openness, choice and trust, starting with oneAPI: a cross-industry, open, standards-based programming model that allows developers to choose the best architecture for the specific problem they are trying to solve.

Building on the advances in adoption and implementation of oneAPI, the initiative is moving to a community forum to shape the future direction of oneAPI and address the evolving needs of developers, software vendors, national labs, researchers and silicon vendors.

Codeplay, an Intel subsidiary with expertise and a track record of promoting open standards and providing cross-platform implementations of SYCL and oneAPI tools, is now taking responsibility for the oneAPI development community.

Intel will continue to provide developer tools and easily accessible toolkits based on these oneAPI specifications.

The Intel oneAPI 2023 toolkits ship in December with support for Intel’s latest and upcoming new CPU, GPU and FPGA architectures and includes tools such as the open source SYCLomatic compatibility tool. SYCLomatic helps convert CUDA source code to SYCL source code, giving developers a choice between computer architectures.

Intel also announced six additional education and research institutions that have established oneAPI Centers of Excellence to expand oneAPI support in key applications and expand oneAPI curriculum development.

The new centers include Peking University’s School of Software and Microelectronics, the Science and Technology Facilities Council in the UK, the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, the University of Utah in collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the University of California San Diego and the Zuse Institute Berlin.

For developers looking to quickly, efficiently, and industry-specifically create new AI solutions, Intel has released three new AI reference kits for healthcare: Document Automation, Disease Prediction, and Medical Imaging Diagnostics.

Developers can find them on GitHub, along with the four kits released in July.

“Our goal is to make it easy for developers to get the best software technology through the open source ecosystem or as Intel-supplied products,” says Lavender.

Although they may not know it, according to one of Evans Data Corp. in 2021 Global Development Survey, about 90% of developers use software developed or optimized by Intel.

Among many examples, Intel has been a major contributor to the Linux kernel for over a decade and recently helped integrate the oneDNN performance library into TensorFlow, automatically bringing up to a 3x performance boost to millions using the popular AI framework .

At the intersection of open software, hardware solutions and business needs lie entirely new opportunities, such as the German e-prescription project that is underway to be rolled out.

IBM developed the ePrescription solution and integrated Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX) with Gramine to provide a superior customer experience while maintaining platform integrity and the need for stringent security and privacy.

Intel is a leading contributor to the open-source Gramine project, which enables Germany’s national digital health authority to gain the integrity and confidentiality of the SGX secure enclaves with minimal modifications.

More examples are in the works thanks to Project Amber, a software-as-a-service offering for attestation of confidential computing, which was unveiled at Intel Vision in May.

Leidos, a leading US federal government technology company, is building a proof-of-concept with Project Amber to protect veterans’ health information for future use in mobile clinics.

Liz Porter, President of Leidos Health Group, adds, “Project Amber frees Leidos from the need to build and maintain complex, expensive attestation systems, allowing us to focus on our core differentiation such as intelligent automation and AI/ML-driven analytics.”

Another benefit of open technology is that it can be combined into different solutions from vendors and customers with different specialties.

Red Hat Chief Technology Officer Chris Wright also announced during the conference that Red Hat’s OpenShift Data Science “has been integrated into Intel’s AI portfolio, allowing developers to train their models with Intel’s AI Analytics Kit and OpenVINO tools and to… can use”.

Red Hat is working to make the Habana Gaudi Training Accelerator available on its service to provide “cost-effective, high-performance deep learning model training and delivery as a managed cloud service.”

Wright also launched a joint Intel and Red Hat AI developer program aimed at “helping developers easily learn, test, and deploy models using Red Hat OpenShift Data Science and Intel’s integrated AI and Edge portfolio.”

For those ready to take their acceleration needs a step into the future, Intel has announced the Intel Quantum SDK, designed to help developers learn how to program quantum algorithms and begin pushing this emerging technology to its full potential . The beta version is now available via the Intel Developer Cloud.

Lavender also outlined advances toward post-quantum cryptography, part of Intel’s three-phase approach to combating quantum computing threats unveiled at Intel Vision in May.

“Recent developments toward standardization and increasing the urgency of opportunities and threats are major strides for our industry as it prepares to be Y2Q-ready or quantum resilient by 2030,” says Lavender.

“Many believe that Y2Q will have a bigger impact than the ‘Millennium Bug’ in 2000.”

Intel Labs announced new developer tools as part of Intel’s goal to bring neuromorphic technology to commercial reality.

These include Kapoho Point, a multi-board stackable platform based on the Loihi 2 research chip, updates to its Lava open software development framework, and the addition of new members and eight Intel-sponsored university projects to the Intel Neuromorphic Research Community (INRC). .

Another way Intel has long fueled future innovation is through education and partnerships with academia.

Now the company announced the Intel Rising Star Faculty Award program, which recognizes young professionals whose innovative and breakthrough ideas make a significant contribution to research or education in the semiconductor and computing industries.

This year’s winners come from 15 institutions worldwide, selected to demonstrate advances in research from AI to quantum materials, innovative teaching methods and the inclusion of underrepresented minorities and women in computer science and engineering.