Khronos creates SYCL SC Open Standard for safety-critical C++-based heterogeneous computing

New working group developing high-level parallel programming derivative of SYCL framework to streamline safety certification in automotive, avionics, industrial and medical markets; Open call for industry participation.

Beaverton, OR – March 15, 2023 – The Khronos® Group, an open consortium of industry leaders developing advanced interoperability standards, today announces the formation of the SYCL™ SC Working Group to create a high-level heterogeneous computing framework for streamlining Certification of safety-critical systems in the automotive, avionics, medical and industrial markets. SYCL SC will use the proven SYCL 2020 standard for parallel programming of different computing devices using the C++17 standard. Over the past year, the safety-critical community has gathered at the Khronos SYCL Safety-Critical Exploratory Forum to build consensus on use cases and industry needs to catalyze and guide the design of this new open standard. The SYCL SC Working Group is open to any Khronos member and Khronos membership is open to any company.

“Safety-critical markets such as automotive and avionics are experiencing dramatic increases in software and hardware complexity, often automating advanced functions traditionally performed by humans – resulting in strong industry interest in advancing SYCL to meet the needs of safety-critical systems to meet,” said Verena Beckham, Vice President of Security Engineering at Codeplay and Vice President of SYCL SC. “We are excited to create the SYCL SC Working Group that will create an open standard that unlocks the SYCL acceleration model to reduce development and certification costs for safety-critical industries while improving programming productivity.”

SYCL SC will bridge the gap between low-level APIs like Vulkan® SC and the high-level C++ language to streamline the development and security certification of systems that incorporate sophisticated parallel processing acceleration, including artificial intelligence and machine learning pipelines. SYCL SC will leverage Vulkan SC’s design principles where appropriate and aim to enable open standards that can streamline system security certifications at any level of the software stack.

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“SYCL SC will be a key component of many robust, safety-critical compute stacks. With Vulkan SC and OpenVX™, the industry already has access to low-level computing and high-level computer vision and machine learning APIs. SYCL SC is the missing link. It will enable accelerated calculations for systems requiring functional safety with a C++ interface. With SYCL SC, Khronos expands the choice of programming abstractions for safety-critical systems to meet diverse market and developer needs,” said Kenneth Wenger, senior director of research and innovation at CoreAVI and SYCL SC pro tempore co-chair.

SYCL SC will comply with the new MISRA C++ 202X guidelines and adhere to safety certification standards such as RTCA DO-178C / EASA ED-12C (Avionics), ISO 26262/21448 (Automotive), IEC 61508 (Industrial) and IEC 62304 (Medical).

The SYCL SC Working Group has already received support from industry leaders including AMD, Arm, Barcelona Supercomputer Center, Codeplay, CoreAVI, Intel, Intellias, Mercedes-Benz and Qualcomm Technologies Inc. Any organization wishing to participate in the SYCL SC Working Group is invited to become a Khronos member. Please visit our Members page or contact Member Services at [email protected] for more information. SYCL SC Working Group members will host a session on “What’s New in SYCL for Safety-Critical systems”.
Registration is now open.

Industry support for SYCL SC

“Deployment of autonomous systems increasingly depends on open standards and a robust software and hardware ecosystem that prioritizes safety,” said Tom Conway, senior director of product management, automotive line of business, Arm. “We recognize the importance of collaborating with industry to reduce software complexity for developers and look forward to contributing our expertise in functional safety and software standardization to help define SYCL’s safety-critical open standards.”

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“Recently, we have seen SYCL’s popularity increase in the high-performance computing industry, which is a testament to SYCL’s ability to provide a powerful, open, and portable solution for heterogeneous programming. Now we look forward to unlocking the SYCL programming model and supporting all of its benefits for safety-critical industries as well,” said Andrew Richards, CEO, Codeplay Software.

“SYCL Safety Critical extends Open Accelerator Programming to applications where safety-critical standards apply,” said Joe Curley, vice president and general manager of software products at Intel. “We are excited to support this working group in defining a productive, open, and cross-platform programming framework that meets the needs of security-critical developers.”

“Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America is pleased to join the SYCL SC Working Group to strengthen industry adoption of safety-critical development standards as ADAS/AD systems leverage heterogeneous computing hardware,” said Sundararajan Ramalingam, vice president at Autonomous Driving Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America.

About SYCL

SYCL is a standard C++-based heterogeneous parallel programming framework for accelerating high-performance computing (HPC), machine learning, embedded computing, and compute-intensive desktop applications on a variety of processor architectures, including CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, and Tensor accelerators.

About Chronos

The Khronos Group is an open, nonprofit, member-led consortium of nearly 200 industry-leading companies that develops advanced, royalty-free interoperability standards for 3D graphics, metaverse, augmented and virtual reality, parallel programming, image acceleration, and machine learning. Khronos’ activities include 3D Commerce™, ANARI™, glTF™, Kamaros™, NNEF™, OpenCL™, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, OpenVG™, OpenVX™, OpenXR™, SPIR-V™, SPIR-V™ , SYCL™ , Vulkan® and WebGL™. Khronos members drive the development and evolution of Khronos specifications and are able to accelerate the delivery of cutting-edge platforms and applications through early access to draft specifications and conformance testing.

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