Introduction to SYCL

Getting Started with SYCL

How does SYCL work?

A SYCL implementation consists of two main components; a SYCL device compiler, which compiles your code for OpenCL devices, and a SYCL runtime library which provides the high level interface writing SYCL applications and the runtime for executing your device code on OpenCL devices.

What does SYCL run on?

SYCL can target a wide range of OpenCL devices on any given system such as multi-core CPUs, GPU, FPGA, DSPs and other kinds of accelerators and specialised processors. For example ComputeCpp, a SYCL 1.2.1 conformant implementation, enables SYCL code to be run on Intel, AMD, ARM, Renesas, NVIDIA and in the future Imagination processors.

The ComputeCpp package provides a tool called computecpp_info, which can be used for a variety of things, but primarily for detecting supported devices on your system that can be used by ComputeCpp.

For the purposes of demonstration we can run computecpp_info here to display the OpenCL device(s) available to this tutorial.

Hit the "Run" button to see what the output looks like.

ComputeCpp Info
  • Note that this tutorial is running in a cloud instance and so is using an Intel CPU, no GPU or accelerator processor is available.

The key line to check is this one

Device is supported : YES - Tested internally by Codeplay Software Ltd.

As you can see from the output of computecpp_info the only supported device is the "host" which is the Intel CPU. Although it is unlikely to offer any performance improvements in the absence of a GPU it enables us to run our SYCL code using ComputeCpp.

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