Khronos Invites Industry Participation to Create Safety Critical Graphics and Compute Standards

New ‘Safety Critical’ working group to adapt OpenGL ES and Vulkan APIs
for markets requiring system certification - including avionics and automotive

SIGGRAPH August 10th 2015 – Los Angeles, CA –The Khronos Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, today announced it is launching a new Safety Critical working group to develop open graphics and compute acceleration standards for markets that require system safety certification. Khronos previously developed the OpenGL® SC 1.0 specification that defined a safety critical subset of OpenGL ES 1.0. The new working group will adapt more recent Khronos standards including OpenGL ES with programmable shaders, and the new generation Vulkan™ API for high-efficiency graphics and compute. Work on detailed proposals is already underway, and companies interested to participate are welcome to join Khronos for a voice and a vote in the development process.  More information on Khronos safety critical specifications and activities is available at: https://www.khronos.org/safetycritical.

“Visual computing acceleration will be a vital component of many emerging safety critical market opportunities including Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), autonomous vehicles and new generation avionics systems,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president at NVIDIA.  “The new Safety Critical working group will build on the experience of shipping OpenGL SC, but now can adapt the latest open standards in the Khronos ecosystem for markets with demanding system certification requirements.”

The new Safety Critical working group is an evolution of the OpenGL ES Safety Critical Working Group that released the OpenGL SC 1.0 specification in 2005 with a fixed function graphics pipeline, with minor updates to OpenGL SC 1.0.1 in 2009. The working group will use DO-178C Level A / EASA ED-12C Level A as the safety critical benchmark for the avionics industry and ISO 26262 certifability to satisfy the safety critical requirements of the automotive industry.  The working group is also working to align its specifications with the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™) consortium (www.opengroup.us/face) technical standard for graphics.

Industry Support

“Codeplay is excited to be contributing in this evolution of Khronos standards for safety critical solutions,” says Andrew Richards, CEO of Codeplay. “We are strongly involved in Khronos standards and the safety critical working groups will enable computer vision systems to prevent car accidents and save lives.”

“The development of a next generation Khronos graphics standard for safety critical systems is an important step to advance avionics, automotive, and other high reliability display systems,” says Steve Viggers, vice president of software at CoreAVI.

“KNU fully supports Khronos developing new graphics and computing API standards for safety critical applications,” says Nakhoon Baek, professor of Kyungpook National University.  “We expect that these new standard APIs will be widely used in safety-related applications by enabling the appropriate software quality certification process for each industry segment. As an academic organization, KNU will work to develop training programs, applications, tools and solutions using these new standard APIs.”

“Next generation automotive solutions call for advanced vision, rendering and compute capabilities in a high reliability system. Texas Instruments is focused on making cars safer and smarter through technology innovations and is excited to be participating in definition of Khronos standards for Safety Critical systems,” says Anand Balagopalakrishnan, architect, automotive graphics at Texas Instruments.

“It’s exciting to see the industry rally around building the next generation of Khronos safety critical APIs,” said Erik Noreke, technology visionary and Safety Critical working group chair. “As intelligent systems are being asked to take over more and more complex tasks, the need for safety critical standards for graphics, compute and vision processing is increasing at an astounding rate.”

3D Graphics API State of the Union BOF at SIGGRAPH 2015

Attendees at the SIGGRAPH 2015 Conference in Los Angeles are invited to the Khronos 3D Graphics API BOF at 5-7PM on Wednesday 15th at the JW Marriott LA Live in the Platinum Ballroom Salon F-I, immediately adjacent to the Convention Centre, to hear more details around the latest developments in the 3D ecosystem.  Full details of this and other Khronos-related SIGGRAPH sessions online at https://khr.io/sig2015.

About The Khronos Group

The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision, sensor processing and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices.  Khronos standards include Vulkan™, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL™, OpenCL™, SPIR™, SPIR-V™, SYCL™, WebCL™, OpenVX™, EGL™, COLLADA™, and glTF™.  All Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.  More information is available at www.khronos.org.

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Khronos, Vulkan, DevU, SPIR, SPIR-V, SYCL, WebGL, WebCL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenVX, EGL, glTF, OpenKCAM, StreamInput , OpenWF, OpenSL ES and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc.  ASTC is a trademark of ARM Holdings PLC, OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International used under license by Khronos.  All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.

Khronos Expands Scope of 3D Open Standard Ecosystem

New generation Vulkan graphics and compute API supported by Android;
OpenGL ES 3.2 specification embraces AEP functionality for mobile;
Cutting edge desktop 3D hardware enabled with new OpenGL extensions

Download the Khronos Press Briefing slidedeck

SIGGRAPH August 10th 2015 – Los Angeles, CA –The Khronos Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, today announced significantly expanded scope and momentum for its family of open standard 3D graphics APIs.  Vulkan™, the new generation API for high-efficiency access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs, is on track for implementation and specifications later this year. It has received support from Android, SteamOS, Tizen, and multiple Linux distributions, including Ubuntu and Red Hat.   The new OpenGL® ES 3.2 specification absorbs AEP (Android Extension Pack) functionality to enhance pervasive graphics capabilities across mobile, consumer, and automotive devices.  A set of OpenGL extensions will also expose the very latest capabilities of desktop hardware.   More information on all Khronos specifications is available at: https://www.khronos.org.

About Vulkan

Vulkan gives applications direct control over GPU acceleration for maximized performance and predictability, and uses Khronos’ new SPIR-V™ intermediate language specification for shading language flexibility.  Vulkan minimizes driver overhead and enables multi-threaded performance on mobile, desktop, console, and embedded platforms.  In parallel with finalizing the Vulkan specification, Khronos is working to drive an in-depth Vulkan ecosystem to:

  • Reach out to key non-Khronos developers for feedback during specification drafting;
  • Construct an open source Vulkan conformance test suite leveraging and merging with the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) drawElements Quality Program (dEQP) framework to enable direct feedback and contributions from developers to resolve cross-vendor inconsistencies;
  • Develop a Vulkan tools architecture that can load code validation, debugging and profiling layers during development, without impacting production performance.  The first open source, cross-vendor Vulkan SDK is being developed by Valve working with LunarG;
  • Build key SPIR-V tools in open source, including translators from GLSL, OpenCL C and C++, a validator to check the correctness of any SPIR-V file and a SPIR-V assembler/disassembler.

“Hardware and software companies need an open 3D API to maximize market reach and minimize porting costs, and Vulkan is being forged by a broad consortium of industry leaders to do exactly that,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group. “Vulkan’s adoption and availability on platforms such as Android, Windows, Linux and SteamOS will ensure strong developer support - creating a wealth of high-quality content and applications for any platform that leverages this royalty-free standard.”

About OpenGL ES 3.2

The new OpenGL ES 3.2 and OpenGL ES Shading Language 3.20 specifications bring AEP, plus additional functionality, into core OpenGL ES.  AEP is a set of OpenGL ES extensions announced last year to bring console-class gaming to Android.  OpenGL ES 3.2 will drive the pervasive availability of advanced desktop-class graphics functionality on a large class of mobile, consumer and automotive hardware, and will be adopted by Android.  OpenGL ES 3.2 capabilities include:

  • Geometry and tessellation shaders to efficiently process complex scenes on the GPU;
  • Floating point render targets for increased flexibility in higher precision compute operations;
  • ASTC compression to reduce the memory footprint and bandwidth used to process textures;
  • Enhanced blending for sophisticated compositing and handling of multiple color attachments;
  • Advanced texture targets such as texture buffers, multisample 2D array and cube map arrays; 
  • Debug and robustness features for easier code development and secure execution.

About OpenGL Extensions

The OpenGL extensions released today expose cutting-edge desktop graphics capabilities and pave the way for new versions of OpenGL when this functionality is pervasively available, including:

  • Streamlined sparse texture functionality to more effectively manage multisample sparse textures and uncommitted and unpopulated texture areas;
  • Enhanced shader functionality including interlocks to efficiently ensure proper execution order for multi-pass algorithms, 64-bit integer handling, control of coverage results in sample masks for early fragment testing, enhanced atomic counter capabilities and a 64-bit monotonically incrementing counter to derive local timing information;
  • Control over the number of threads used to compile shaders to accelerate compilation time;
  • Modifiable locations of samples within a pixel to increase multisample antialiasing quality;

Lastly, the OpenGL ES 3.2 compatibility extension enables the use of desktop OpenGL to develop mobile applications.

Industry Support

“AMD is thrilled to see the adoption this low-level, high-performance graphics API into an industry standard such as Vulkan” said Raja Koduri, corporate vice president, engineering, AMD.  “At AMD, we strive to deliver maximum performance and control into the talented hands of game and graphics application developers everywhere and we see Vulkan as an excellent step in that direction.”

“As a founding member of Khronos, ARM is fully supportive of the latest specification of open standard 3D graphics APIs,” said Jem Davies, vice president of technology, media processing group, ARM. “As the number of graphical devices in everyday life continues to grow, the new OpenGL ES and Vulkan APIs are important steps in enabling game and application developers to provide richer and more energy-efficient user experiences.”

“Intel is excited to be part of the continued rapid development of graphics APIs like Vulkan and OpenGL ES 3.2 and to showcase these APIs running on our hardware at SIGGRAPH 2015,” said Aaron Coday, director of visual computing engineering, Intel. “We can't wait to see what application developers can do with the new features and performance benefits they offer on Intel Architecture.”

“Imagination is proud to contribute to the continued development of Khronos APIs for mobile graphics. We believe that the availability and continued development of cutting edge, cross platform, open APIs like OpenGL ES and Vulkan is essential for a vibrant, healthy graphics ecosystem,” said Peter McGuinness, director of multimedia technology marketing, Imagination Technologies.

“Graphics developers need the best tools and APIs, so today NVIDIA is releasing the new OpenGL extensions and OpenGL ES 3.2 on Windows XP through 8.1 and Linux*,” said Barthold Lichtenbelt, senior director of Tegra graphics software at NVIDIA and chair of the OpenGL working group. “We welcome Vulkan’s adoption by Google, and will continue to work to ensure this new open standard enables amazing graphics across many platforms, including Android.” 

“Qualcomm Technologies has been a major contributor to the development of Vulkan which we intend to support with our upcoming Qualcomm Adreno™ GPUs for Qualcomm Snapdragon™ processors. We believe the Vulkan API will significantly reduce single-threaded overhead and increase multi-threaded efficiency, and consequently reduce power consumption for advanced mobile graphics applications,” said Avinash Seetharamaiah, senior director of engineering, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.  “Furthermore, we think the advancements with the Vulkan API will help mobile game developers more easily and efficiently bring console game content to Snapdragon mobile devices. We look forward to the migration of efficiency improvements from Vulkan to the other widely used APIs from Khronos,” Seetharamaiah added. “We welcome the arrival of OpenGL ES 3.2, bringing features like hardware tessellation and geometry shaders to OpenGL ES, because providing console-class graphics features in the mobile space is a step we support wholeheartedly with our world class Adreno GPU solutions.”

“Samsung enhances consumer’s mobile experience through innovative technologies and we are convinced that Vulkan will enable highly improved gaming experiences to our users,” said Hyunho Park, senior vice president of the system software R&D team at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung has been deeply engaged within Khronos to shape the Vulkan API – especially in the formation of the Window System Integration standard with broad platform support. We will rapidly drive adoption of the Vulkan to the mobile ecosystem to provide a high-performance, cross-platform graphics standards to game developers and consumers.”

3D Graphics API State of the Union BOF at SIGGRAPH 2015

Attendees at the SIGGRAPH 2015 Conference in Los Angeles are invited to the Khronos 3D Graphics API BOF at 5-7PM on Wednesday 15th at the JW Marriott LA Live in the Platinum Ballroom Salon F-I, immediately adjacent to the Convention Centre, to hear more details around the latest developments in the 3D ecosystem.  Full details of this and other Khronos-related SIGGRAPH sessions online: https://khr.io/sig2015

About The Khronos Group

The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision, sensor processing and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices.  Khronos standards include Vulkan™, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL™, OpenCL™, SPIR™, SPIR-V™, SYCL™, WebCL™, OpenVX™, EGL™, COLLADA™, and glTF™.  All Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.  More information is available at www.khronos.org.

Khronos Releases Standardized Data Format Specification

Precise standalone format descriptions enable extensible communication of data between standards and applications

Portland, OR – July 29th 2015 – The Khronos Group today announced the ratification and public release of the Khronos Data Format Specification 1.0.  This new standard provides precise mechanisms to generate machine-readable format descriptions of repetitive data, such as pixels, enabling standards and software to cleanly communicate and interoperate.  This royalty-free specification will be used across multiple Khronos API initiatives, and is open to be used by third party standards and applications. The Khronos Data Format Specification and additional information is available at: https://www.khronos.org/dataformat.

“The minefield of data formats and their interpretation by each API is one of the most challenging areas of integration of device components, and interoperation between them,” said Alon Or-bach, chair of the EGL Working Group. “The Khronos Data Format Specification provides a clean and complete descriptor to describe all common formats and enables APIs to define clear mappings to them. This will improve life for device integrators, and be an invaluable tool for applications that depend on data flowing between different hardware blocks, such as computer vision and augmented reality.”

Today, many standards use proprietary enumerated data descriptions that are not extensible, and are often incompletely specified, resulting in data conversion errors and incompatibilities. By using a descriptive data format, software can flexibly and reliably use a large number of possible formats without specifically coding for each one. The Khronos Data Format Specification supports versioning and extensions, as well as storing common data interpretation details to avoid the need for separate metadata.

This specification has already been used to describe precise descriptions for Vulkan™ and OpenVX™ internal data formats.  APIs can also define extensions with data format descriptors to be used for both interoperation between multiple standards and for describing user-visible data.

Working Group Member Quotes

“The Khronos Data Format Specification simplifies sharing data between APIs, improving the efficiency of complex applications,” said James Jones, senior software engineer at NVIDIA. “As a world leader in visual computing, NVIDIA supports the adoption of precisely defined data formats in both Khronos and third-party standards.”

“To stay at the cutting edge of the industry both in graphics and multimedia, Samsung combines many software and hardware technologies from different sources inside and outside of the company,” said Steve Gi-Byoung Park, managing director of Samsung R&D Institute UK. “The Khronos Data Format Specification offers a consistent and unambiguous way to describe and interpret buffers, images and textures, reducing the development effort in integrating these components and improving the time-to-market of Samsung’s innovations.”

About The Khronos Group

The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision, sensor processing and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices.  Khronos standards include Vulkan™, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL™, OpenCL™, SPIR™, SPIR-V™, SYCL™, WebCL™, OpenVX™, EGL™, COLLADA™, and glTF™.  All Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.  More information is available at www.khronos.org.

 

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Khronos, Vulkan, DevU, SPIR, SPIR-V, SYCL, WebGL, WebCL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenVX, EGL, glTF, OpenKCAM, StreamInput , OpenWF, OpenSL ES and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. ASTC is a trademark of ARM Holdings PLC, OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.

Industry Momentum Building for OpenVX Computer Vision Acceleration API

Production and open source sample implementations shipping;
  Specification update available; OpenVX tutorial at CVPR 2015

June 4th 2015 – The Khronos Group today announced the ratification and public release of the OpenVX™ 1.0.1 specification, a maintenance update to the open, royalty-free standard for cross platform acceleration of computer vision applications.  OpenVX 1.0.1 integrates bug fixes and clarifications resulting from feedback from working group members and the wider industry implementing and using the specification.  OpenVX enables performance and power-optimized computer vision processing, especially important in embedded and real-time uses cases such as face, body and gesture tracking, smart video surveillance, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), object and scene reconstruction, augmented reality, visual inspection, robotics and more.  In addition to the OpenVX conformance tests and Adopters Program launched in late 2014, Khronos is now shipping an open source, fully-conformant CPU-based implementation of OpenVX 1.0 that runs on Linux, Android or Windows.  The full OpenVX 1.0.1 specification and details about the sample implementation are available at www.khronos.org/openvx.

OpenVX at CVPR2015

Members of the OpenVX working group are organizing an OpenVX tutorial at the CVPR 2015 conference in Boston that will be held in the afternoon of June 7th.  The tutorial will discuss when vision developers might choose to use OpenVX, OpenCV or OpenCL™, and provide an introduction to OpenVX by mapping example computational photography and driver assistance algorithms to the OpenVX graph API. The second half of the tutorial will be a practice session, solving a computer vision problem using the OpenVX sample implementation, followed by a chance for attendees to write their own OpenVX sample code and chat with OpenVX experts. More information on the OpenVX tutorial is here.

OpenVX defines a higher level of abstraction for execution and memory models than compute frameworks such as OpenCL, enabling significant implementation innovation and efficient execution on a wide range of architectures while maintaining a consistent vision acceleration API for application portability.  An OpenVX developer expresses a connected graph of vision nodes that an implementer can execute and optimize through a wide variety of techniques such as: acceleration on CPUs, GPUs, DSPs or dedicated hardware, compiler optimizations, node coalescing, and tiled execution to keep sections of processed images in local memories.  This architectural agility enables OpenVX applications on a diversity of systems optimized for different levels of power and performance, including very battery-sensitive, vision-enabled, wearable displays. The precisely defined specification and conformance tests for OpenVX make it ideal for deployment in production systems where cross-vendor consistency and reliability are essential.

OpenVX 1.0 has been finalized for just a few months, but already production implementations are beginning to ship into the market including the recently announced OpenVX-capable IP core by Vivante

About The Khronos Group

The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision, sensor processing and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices.  Khronos standards include Vulkan™, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL™, OpenCL™, SPIR™, SPIR-V™, SYCL™, WebCL™, OpenVX™, EGL™, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, StreamInput™, COLLADA™, and glTF™.  All Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.  More information is available at www.khronos.org.

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Khronos, Vulkan, DevU, StreamInput, SPIR, SPIR-V, SYCL, WebGL, WebCL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenVX, EGL, glTF, OpenSL ES and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. ASTC is a trademark of ARM Holdings PLC, OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.

Khronos Releases SYCL 1.2 Final Specification

C++ single-source heterogeneous programming for OpenCL 1.2

May 11th 2015, IWOCL, Stanford University, CA – The Khronos™ Group,an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, today announced the ratification and public release of the finalized SYCL ™ 1.2 specification.  SYCL for OpenCL™ enables code for heterogeneous processors to be written in a “single-source” style using completely standard C++.  The multi-vendor SYCL 1.2 standard is available royalty-free for industry use, and the full specification together with details about the SYCL conformance test suite and Adopters Program can be found at www.khronos.org/sycl.

SYCL single-source programming enables host and kernel code to be contained in the same source file, using the same templates for both, with full OpenCL acceleration.  Developers can program at a higher level than OpenCL C, but always have access to existing code through seamless integration with OpenCL programs, C/C++ libraries and frameworks such as OpenMP.  SYCL includes templates and lambda functions for higher-level application software that can be cleanly coded for optimized acceleration across the extensive range of shipping OpenCL 1.2 implementations.  

“SYCL is complementary to the ongoing evolution of the OpenCL kernel language and we see the lessons and technologies from SYCL and the evolving OpenCL C++ kernel language merging and influencing each other over time,” said Andrew Richards, chair of the SYCL working group and CEO of Codeplay.  “C++ programing techniques can help provide performance portability for OpenCL applications by providing highly adaptive parallel software than is easily used and re-used.”

OpenCL’s interop capability is inherited by SYCL to enable applications to use SYCL in conjunction with OpenGL, DirectX and the upcoming Vulkan API without memory-copy overhead.  In return, SYCL can provide simplified error handling and effective compute and communication overlap between host and devices.

SYCL 1.2 can be implemented to work with a variety of existing and new C++ compilers and layers over OpenCL 1.2 implementations from diverse vendors.  SYCL 1.2 builds on the features of C++11, with additional support for C++14 and also will enable C++17 Parallel STL programs to be accelerated on OpenCL devices in the future.   SYCL 1.2 also builds on the Khronos SPIR™ 1.2 portable binary format and fully leverages the ongoing work at the OpenCL and SPIR working groups at Khronos with the aim to provide long-term support for future OpenCL capabilities, including OpenCL 2.1 and SPIR-V™.

The C++ standards body is working on a new Parallel STL standard for C++17. To support this effort, Khronos is kick-starting an open-source project to support Parallel STL on top of SYCL, running on OpenCL devices.This project is hosted at https://github.com/KhronosGroup/SyclParallelSTL.

See SYCL at IWOCL 2015

Khronos is pleased to have a notable profile at IWOCL 2015, the 3rd International Workshop on OpenCL. IWOCL is a community led meeting of OpenCL developers, researchers and suppliers to share OpenCL best practice and to advance the OpenCL standard. More information on IWOCL, including how to register, can be found at www.iwocl.org. Khronos SYCL sessions are as follows:

  • May 12, 9:30AM: in-depth tutorial “Khronos SYCL for OpenCL”
  • May 12, 3:30PM: a FREE “Khronos Developer Feedback and Panel Discussion” covering OpenCL 2.1, SYCL 1.2 and SPIR
  • May 13 12:10PM: SYCL working group chair Andrew Richards will be presenting on SYCL 1.2.

Industry Support for SYCL

“It is great to see innovation in higher-level programming languages that tap into the tremendous compute power of OpenCL capable devices” says Greg Stoner, senior director at AMD.  “Providing developers with a single-source C++ programming model that runs across multiple vendor devices showcases the potential that an open compute standard can deliver.  We look forward to seeing this trend continue to unfold in the future.”

“At Codeplay, we believe software developers benefit from working with open standards because it gives them the greatest flexibility to deploy their software to their customers,” said Maria Rovatsou, Principal Software Engineer, SYCL technologies, Codeplay.  “At the same time, we recognize that users are demanding ever higher-performance software and longer battery lifetimes on devices that are available everywhere. We worked hard to fulfill this challenge to give C++ developers the full power and performance of OpenCL via the SYCL open standard.”

“At Imagination, we are committed to helping drive standards around heterogeneous processing and GPU compute. We’re delighted to see SYCL running on PowerVR GPUs, extending the power and efficiency of GPU accelerated computing to a greater number of mobile apps developers” said Peter McGuinness, director of Multimedia Technology Marketing, Imagination Technologies.”

“Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. worked with Khronos on the specification of SYCL 1.2 in order to help enable mobile developers to utilize C++ for programming OpenCL-supporting GPUs,” said Eric Demers, vice president of GPU hardware at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “SYCL 1.2 has the potential to enable the development of portable libraries that abstract away the host/device boundary, delivering the necessary flexibility to use higher-level C++ abstractions in mobile devices that use Snapdragon™ processors.”

"SYCL is the open standard, higher-level programming model the heterogeneous computing community has been waiting years for. SYCL tracks the latest developments in modern C++, with a clear path to C++ 17 to simplify parallel programming across multiple platforms. What I find unique about SYCL is the broad range application domains it is suitable for: allowing simple accelerator programming for beginner programmers by using only modern C++, but also enables power programmers to use advanced features to reach the ultimate performance while keeping an elegant software architecture," said Ronan Keryell, lead developer of triSYCL, the Open Source SYCL implementation project.

About The Khronos Group

The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision, sensor processing and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices.  Khronos standards include Vulkan™, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL™, OpenCL™, SPIR™, SPIR-V™, SYCL™, WebCL™, OpenVX™, EGL™, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, StreamInput™, COLLADA™, and glTF™.  All Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.  More information is available at www.khronos.org.

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Khronos, Vulkan, DevU, StreamInput, SPIR, SPIR-V, SYCL, WebGL, WebCL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenVX, EGL, glTF, OpenSL ES and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. ASTC is a trademark of ARM Holdings PLC, OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.

Khronos Releases OpenCL 2.1 Provisional Specification for Public Review

OpenCL C++ Kernel Language Significantly Boosts Programmer Productivity;
New SPIR-V common intermediate language used by both OpenCL 2.1 and Vulkan

March 3rd 2015, San Francisco, GDC – The Khronos™ Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, today announced the ratification and public release of the OpenCL™ 2.1 provisional specification. OpenCL 2.1 is a significant evolution of the open, royalty-free standard for heterogeneous parallel programming that defines a new kernel language based on a subset of C++ for significantly enhanced programmer productivity, and support for the new Khronos SPIR-V™ cross-API shader program intermediate language now used by both OpenCL and the new Vulkan graphics API. The OpenCL 2.1 specification at www.khronos.org/opencl/ is released in provisional form to enable developers and implementers to provide feedback before finalization at the OpenCL forums: https://www.khronos.org/opencl/opencl_feedback_forum.

OpenCL 2.1 Technical Overview Session in San Francisco
OpenCL Ecosystem Advances: OpenCL 2.1, SPIR-V and SYCL
Wednesday, March 4th at 3-4:30pm 
Venue: SF Green Space at 657 Mission Street, Suite 200 – five minutes’ walk from GDC
Overview of OpenCL 2.1, SPIR-V and direct interaction with working group members
No GDC pass required, however seating is limited so please register if you plan to attend.

About OpenCL 2.1

The OpenCL C++ kernel language is a static subset of C++14 and significantly boosts parallel programming productivity by providing lambda functions, classes, templates, operator overloading, and many other C++ features to free developers from low-level coding details without sacrificing performance. OpenCL C++ enables reusable device libraries and containers for easily sharable code that is fast and elegant, and templates enables meta-programming for highly adaptive software that cleanly delivers performance portability.

In another significant announcement today, OpenCL 2.1 and Vulkan™, the new open standard API for high-efficiency access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs, are now sharing core intermediate language technologies resulting in SPIR-V; a revolution in the Khronos Standard Portable Intermediate Representation initially used by OpenCL™, now fully defined by Khronos with native support for shader and kernel features. SPIR-V splits the compiler chain, enabling high-level language front-ends to emit programs in a standardized intermediate form to be ingested by Vulkan or OpenCL drivers. Eliminating the need for a built-in high-level language source compiler significantly reduces driver complexity and will enable a diversity of language front-ends. Additionally, a standardized IR provides a measure of kernel IP protection, accelerated kernel load times and enables developers to use a common language front-end, improving kernel reliability and portability across multiple implementations.

In addition to the introduction of the OpenCL C++ shading language, OpenCL 2.1 brings enhancements to the OpenCL API, including:

  • Subgroups, that expose hardware threading, are bought into core, together with additional subgroup query operations for increased flexibility;
  • clCloneKernel enables copying of kernel objects and state for safe implementation of copy constructors in wrapper classes;
  • Low-latency device timer queries support alignment of profiling between device and host code.

“OpenCL 2.1 has responded to developer demand with a C++ based kernel language which delivers the next level of programmer productivity in parallel programming, while still preserving backwards compatibility for existing OpenCL C kernels,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and chair of the OpenCL working group and vice president at NVIDIA. “The use of SPIR-V by Vulkan and OpenCL will fundamentally reshape the graphics and compute ecosystem by enabling diverse language and middleware front-ends to leverage the hardware community’s investment in optimized back-end drivers. Khronos is investigating catalyzing the OpenCL 2.1 ecosystem with an open source front-end OpenCL C++ compiler implementation and a convertor between SPIR-V and LLVM, and we welcome developer feedback on this and any other aspect of OpenCL 2.1.”

Industry Support for OpenCL 2.1

“AMD is excited to see OpenCL™ evolve to include a C++ kernel language, which will significantly expand the number of developers targeting heterogeneous platforms,” said Manju Hegde, corporate vice president, Heterogeneous Applications and Developer Solutions, AMD.  “We also applaud the bold move to SPIR-V which provides a common binary target language across graphics and compute.  This greatly simplifies vendor driver development and enables innovation in new languages targeting cross-platform acceleration of applications.”

“Mobile devices are now the primary computing platform for consumers,” said Dennis Laudick, vice president, partner marketing, media processing group, ARM. “As a founding member of Khronos, ARM is fully behind the new OpenCL specification including new features that enable mobile computing to be more energy-efficient.”

“Intel has been deeply involved in the development of OpenCL 2.1. We’re excited to get this new specification into the hands of Intel platform developers,” said Jon Khazam, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Visual & Parallel Computing Group.  “The addition of C++ support and movement toward a Common IR across OpenCL and the new Vulkan graphics API will facilitate wider adoption and deployment of OpenCL in heterogeneous computing applications.”

“The addition of the C++ kernel language in OpenCL 2.1 is a very exciting development for the HPC community,” said Simon McIntosh-Smith, head of the HPC research group at the University of Bristol. “C++ is being increasingly used to develop scientific codes, and so this development will make it much easier to port new HPC software to a wide variety of high performance, parallel hardware. OpenCL 2.1’s C++ kernel language could cause a step change in the rate of adoption for OpenCL in HPC.”

“We at YetiWare believe that software should run as fast as possible by using all of the processors on a system, and the OpenCL standard makes that possible,” said AJ Guillon, founder and chief technical officer, YetiWare Inc. “The OpenCL C++ kernel language and SPIR-V are both major advancements and big wins for developers.”

About The Khronos Group

The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision, sensor processing and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include Vulkan™, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL™, OpenCL™, SPIR™, SYCL™, WebCL™, OpenVX™, EGL™, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, StreamInput™, COLLADA™, and glTF™. All Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests. More information is available at www.khronos.org.

Khronos Reveals Vulkan API for High-efficiency Graphics and Compute on GPUs

Demos of real-world applications running on Vulkan drivers and hardware at GDC;
New SPIR-V intermediate language shared by Vulkan and OpenCL 2.1

March 3rd 2015, San Francisco, GDC – The Khronos™ Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, today announced the availability of technical previews of the new Vulkan™ open standard API for high-efficiency access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs used in a wide variety of devices. This ground-up design, previously referred to as the Next Generation OpenGL® Initiative, provides applications direct control over GPU acceleration for maximized performance and predictability, and uses Khronos’ new SPIR-V™ specification for shading language flexibility. Vulkan initial specifications and implementations are expected later this year and any company may participate in Vulkan’s ongoing development by joining Khronos. Industry feedback is welcomed at https://www.khronos.org/vulkan/vulkan_feedback_forum.

“Industry standard APIs like Vulkan are a critical part of enabling developers to bring the best possible experience to customers on multiple platforms,” said Valve's Gabe Newell.  “Valve and the other Khronos members are working hard to ensure that this high-performance graphics interface is made available as widely as possible and we view it as a critical component of SteamOS and future Valve games.”

Vulkan Technical Previews at GDC in San Francisco

Khronos is offering special preview sessions for insights into the Vulkan architecture.

Vulkan: The Future of High Performance Graphics – hosted by Valve
Thursday, March 5 at 10-11AM
Venue: Room 2006 in the West Hall of the GDC Conference
A technical preview of the Vulkan API, with advanced techniques and live demos of real-world applications running on Vulkan drivers and hardware

Vulkan: the Next Generation Graphics and Compute API
Thursday, March 5 at 12-1:30pm and repeated at 2–3:30pm
Venue: SF Green Space at 657 Mission Street, Suite 200 – five minutes’ walk from GDC
Vulkan overview, demos and direct interaction with working group members
No GDC pass required, however seating is limited so please register if you plan to attend.

About Vulkan
Vulkan is a unified specification that minimizes driver overhead and enables multi-threaded GPU command preparation for optimal graphics and compute performance on diverse mobile, desktop, console and embedded platforms. Vulkan also provides the direct GPU control demanded by sophisticated game engines, middleware and applications with the cross vendor performance and functional portability resulting from simpler, more predictable drivers. The layered design of Vulkan enables multiple IHVs to plug into a common, extensible architecture for code validation, debugging and profiling during development without impacting production performance; this layering flexibility is expected to catalyze strong innovation in cross-vendor GPU tools.

In another significant announcement today, Vulkan and OpenCL 2.1 are now sharing core intermediate language technologies resulting in SPIR-V; a revolution in the Khronos Standard Portable Intermediate Representation initially used by OpenCL™, now fully defined by Khronos with native support for shader and kernel features. SPIR-V splits the compiler chain, enabling high-level language front-ends to emit programs in a standardized intermediate form to be ingested by Vulkan or OpenCL drivers. Eliminating the need for a built-in high-level language source compiler significantly reduces GPU driver complexity and will enable a diversity of language front-ends. Additionally, a standardized IR provides a measure of shader IP protection, accelerated shader load times and enables developers to use a common language front-end, improving shader reliability and portability across multiple implementations.

“Vulkan is a significant Khronos initiative to provide developers the choice of a state-of-the-art GPU API that is open and portable across multiple platforms, at a time where platform diversity is increasing,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president at NVIDIA. “Khronos will be driving the Vulkan ecosystem with open source conformance test components and sample front-end compiler implementations that use SPIR-V to leverage the hardware community’s investment in optimized back-end drivers. Vulkan expands the family of Khronos 3D APIs, and complements OpenGL and OpenGL ES that between them, provide access to billions of GPUs today, and will continue to be evolved and maintained to meet industry needs.”

Industry Support for Vulkan

“With direct influence on several generations of hardware and software architectures for milliwatt to kilowatt platforms, OpenGL is undeniably the industry’s most successful 3D Graphics API,” said Raja Koduri, corporate vice president, Visual and Perceptual Computing, AMD. “Vulkan is a transformation to OpenGL that brings forth exciting low-overhead capabilities to enable compelling increases in performance and power efficiency while maintaining developer productivity.”

“Since helping found Khronos, ARM has strived to improve the efficiency of standards and deliver compelling graphics to mobile devices with minimum energy consumption,” said Jem Davies, vice president of technology, media processing group, ARM. “Vulkan is a big step forward in enabling our ecosystem of developers to unleash the capabilities of the latest ARM GPU technology.”

“Codeplay is excited that Vulkan's SPIR-V feature will enable new languages and tools to be used in graphics. By standardizing the way new languages can be added to graphics, a whole new tools ecosystem is being opened up,” said Andrew Richards, CEO of Codeplay.

“As one of the major manufacturers for digital automotive instrument clusters and infotainment systems, Continental fully supports Khronos' new Vulkan initiative,” Dr. Ulrich Kabatek, principal technical expert graphic systems & 3D visualization at Continental Automotive. “It will enable high-quality graphic systems with custom safety levels and increase connectivity for our sustainable, safe, comfortable, individual, and affordable solutions. Simply, it is a huge step forward towards the driving experience of tomorrow. We wish Vulkan all the best!”

“Imagination is proud to have been a major contributor to the new Vulkan standard. With this new API alongside OpenGL ES, we feel that Khronos now has the right set of APIs in place to address the extreme performance and mainstream ends of the graphics programming market,” said Peter McGuinness, director of technology marketing, Imagination Technologies.

“NVIDIA is a strong supporter of OpenGL and we are actively engaged in the development of Vulkan,” said Barthold Lichtenbelt, senior director of Tegra graphics software at NVIDIA.  “Vulkan’s focus on enabling portable, high-performance games and engines will drive cutting-edge content across the range of NVIDIA’s gaming platforms including PC, mobile and cloud.”

“The Vulkan API is a groundbreaking rethink of graphics software technology,” said Dan Baker, co-founder, Oxide Games. “The efficiency and threading abilities are profound leaps forward that enable Oxide Games to create entirely new game genres on a variety of platforms.”

“We are very excited about the introduction of the Vulkan™ API. Vulkan will allow us to maximize GPU performance for graphically demanding games enabled with future versions of our cross-platform portability technology,” said Gavriel State, CTO & Founder at TransGaming. “The Khronos Group plays a leading role in maintaining open standards across a unified technology ecosystem that TransGaming is proud to contribute towards as a dedicated member.”

“Efficient, close to metal, developer-friendly GPU APIs combining rendering with compute are a natural fit for Vivante’s highly efficient GPU architectures,” said Wei-Jin Dai, president and CEO of Vivante. “Vulkan unleashes the newest innovations inside Vivante's latest GPU hardware and will provide a boost to the pervasive Vivante GPU powered platforms currently in the market. Khronos has moved the industry forward with the release of Vulkan to drive platforms in the current and next generation of the GPU-enabled ecosystem.”

About The Khronos Group

The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision, sensor processing and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include Vulkan™, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL™, OpenCL™, SPIR™, SYCL™, WebCL™, OpenVX™, EGL™, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, StreamInput™, COLLADA™, and glTF™. All Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests. More information is available at www.khronos.org.

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Khronos, Vulkan, DevU, StreamInput, SPIR, SPIR-V, SYCL, WebGL, WebCL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenVX, EGL, glTF, OpenSL ES and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. ASTC is a trademark of ARM Holdings PLC, OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.

Xilinx SDAccel Development Environment for OpenCL, C, and C++, Achieves Khronos Conformance

First complete CPU/GPU-like development and run-time experience for FPGAs now OpenCL conformance compliant

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 14, 2015 Xilinx, Inc.today announced that the SDAccel™ development environment for OpenCL™, C, and C++ is now Khronos OpenCL 1.0 standard compliant. The OpenCL standard provides a uniform programming environment for software developers to write efficient, portable code enabling a rich range of algorithms to be easily accelerated on Xilinx FPGAs. SDAccel, the newest member of the SDx™ family, includes an architecturally optimizing compiler for OpenCL, C, and C++ and is proven to deliver up to 25X better performance/watt compared to CPUs or GPUs and 3X the performance and resource efficiency of other FPGA solutions.

SDAccel combines the industry's first architecturally optimizing compiler supporting OpenCL, C, and C++ kernels, along with libraries, development boards, and a complete CPU/GPU-like development and run-time experience for FPGAs.

"We are excited to see Xilinx's support for the OpenCL standard for parallel programming of heterogeneous systems. FPGAs are a natural fit for compute intensive algorithms where high throughput, low latency and low power are critical to meet system requirements," said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and chair of the OpenCL working group. "Now the entire OpenCL design community can seamlessly take advantage of Xilinx FPGAs."

Availability
To access the capabilities of SDAccel, please contact your local sales representative. To learn more visit www.xilinx.com/sdaccel. The product is conformant with Khronos OpenCL 1.0 specification.

About SDx
SDx is a family of development environments for systems and software engineers. SDx enables developers with little or no FPGA expertise to use high level programming languages to leverage the power of programmable hardware with industry standard processors. To learn more visit www.xilinx.com/sdx.

About Xilinx
Xilinx is the world's leading provider of All Programmable FPGAs, SoCs and 3D ICs. These industry-leading devices are coupled with a next-generation design environment and IP to serve a broad range of customer needs, from programmable logic to programmable systems integration. For more information, visit www.xilinx.com.

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© Copyright 2015 Xilinx, Inc. Xilinx, the Xilinx logo, Artix, ISE, Kintex, Spartan, Virtex, Vivado, Zynq, and other designated brands included herein are trademarks of Xilinx in the United States and other countries. OpenCL and the OpenCL logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. used by permission by Khronos. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Khronos Updates OpenCL and SYCL Specifications for Heterogeneous Parallel Programming

Integration of developer feedback for improved application portability;
Alignment with latest C++ developments

November 18th, 2014, – The Khronos™ Group today announced the ratification and public release of updated OpenCL™ 2.0 and Provisional SYCL™ 1.2 specifications. The new specifications integrate feedback from the developer community, align with the latest C++ developments, and increase implementation consistency for improved portability of heterogeneous parallel applications. The latest OpenCL and SYCL specifications are open, royalty-free and available at www.khronos.org/opencl/ and www.khronos.org/opencl/sycl.

Khronos is constantly listening to feedback from the OpenCL developer community, and consolidating improvements and clarifications into our specifications to provide the best possible platform for portable parallel applications,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group, chair of the OpenCL working group and vice president of mobile ecosystem at NVIDIA. “OpenCL continues to develop a rich ecosystem for heterogeneous parallel programming across diverse platforms. Paired with ongoing improvements to the core OpenCL specification, SYCL adds rich single source C++ programming for OpenCL developers and the SPIR portable binary format enables a wide range of programming models to be accelerated by diverse OpenCL devices.

Updated SYCL 1.2 Provisional Specification

Implementations of SYCL for OpenCL enable developers to write in a “single-source” C++ programming style. The evolving provisional specification has been updated based on feedback from developers and to align with the latest directions in modern C++ programming. SYCL enables powerful, modern C++ features, such as templates and lambda functions to accelerate their software for the wide range of heterogeneous devices that OpenCL supports. The SYCL working group continues to work with developers, seeking feedback and refining the provisional specification to deliver a final specification that will enable OpenCL devices to support modern C++ in an open, standard way. SYCL builds on the SPIR portable binary format and is one way of bringing higher-level models to OpenCL, forming a valuable part of the programming model ecosystem for OpenCL devices.

Updated OpenCL 2.0 Specification

The OpenCL working group has released an update to the OpenCL 2.0 specification, with clarifications that improve specification readability and reduce minor cross-vendor implementation inconsistencies, making it easier for developers to write portable OpenCL applications that reliably work across multiple devices. The changes to the OpenCL 2.0 specification include:

  • Clarifications around support for Blocks in OpenCL C;
  • Refinements to the precision requirements for math functions in fast math mode;
  • Clarification of flags that can be applied to pipes;
  • A new extension, cl_khr_device_enqueue_local_arg_types, for enqueueing device kernels to use arguments that are a pointer to a user defined type in local memory;
  • Clarification of the CL_MEM_KERNEL_READ_AND_WRITE flag to enable filtering of image formats that can be passed to a single kernel instance as read_write.

Industry Support

It is great to see the computing industry coming together to improve the programmer experience for accessing the tremendous compute potential of modern heterogeneous architectures. OpenCL 2.0 and SYCL both represent significant steps forward in ease of programming and performance for a broad range of software applications,” said Manju Hegde, corporate vice president, Heterogeneous Applications and Solutions Group at AMD.

We are seeing a lot of developers want to accelerate their software with a range of different accelerator processors. Being an open standard, OpenCL provides developers the greatest range of options for acceleration,” said Andrew Richards, CEO of Codeplay. “At the same time, we are seeing developers using a C++ single-source programming model, because it is easy to use and easy to write libraries for. SYCL enables developers to use a modern C++ development style while still using royalty-free open standards and leverage the wide adoption of OpenCL by accelerator vendors.

At Imagination, we are committed to helping drive standards around heterogeneous processing and GPU compute. It’s critical that the industry continues to improve the GPU compute programming model, and Khronos is playing a key role in these efforts. We’re delighted to see continued momentum with OpenCL 2.0 and SYCL,” said Peter McGuinness, director of Multimedia Technology Marketing, Imagination Technologies.

OpenCL at Supercomputing 2014

There are OpenCL-related presentations and activities at Supercomputing 2014 in New Orleans on November 16-21st:

Tutorial: OpenCL: A Hands-on Introduction
Monday, Nov 17 | 8:30am - 5:00pm | Room 395
Tim Mattson, Alice Koniges, and Simon McIntosh–Smith
The tutorial format will be a 50/50 split between lectures and exercises. Students will use their own laptops (Windows, Linux or OS/X) and log into a remote server running an OpenCL platform.
More information and calendar links

OpenCL BOF: OpenCL Version 2.0 and Beyond
Tuesday, Nov 18 | 5:30pm – 7:00pm | Room 275-76-77
Tim Mattson, Simon McIntosh–Smith, Andrew Richards, Ronan Keryell and others
This BOF will discuss the latest developments in OpenCL including the recent OpenCL 2.0 specification, SYCL, SPIR, and more.
More information and calendar links

About The Khronos Group

The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision, sensor processing and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL™, OpenCL™, SPIR™, SYCL™, WebCL™, OpenVX™, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, StreamInput™, COLLADA™ and glTF™. All Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests. More information is available at www.khronos.org.

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Khronos, DevU, StreamInput, SPIR, SYCL, WebGL, WebCL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenVX, VXU, glTF, OpenSL ES and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. ASTC is a trademark of ARM Holdings PLC, OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.

Khronos Finalizes and Releases OpenVX 1.0 Specification 
for Computer Vision Acceleration

Fast, portable, power-efficient vision processing across diverse hardware architectures; Full conformance test suite and Adopters Program immediately available;
Khronos to ship open source OpenVX implementation by end 2014

October 20th, 2014, – The Khronos™ Group today announced the ratification and public release of the finalized OpenVX™ 1.0 specification, an open, royalty-free standard for cross platform acceleration of computer vision applications. OpenVX enables performance and power-optimized computer vision processing, especially important in embedded and real-time uses cases such as face, body and gesture tracking, smart video surveillance, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), object and scene reconstruction, augmented reality, visual inspection, robotics and more. In addition to the OpenVX specification, Khronos has developed a full set of conformance tests and an Adopters Program, that enables implementers to test their implementations and use the OpenVX trademark if conformant. Khronos plans to ship an open source, fully-conformant CPU-based implementation of OpenVX 1.0 before the end of 2014. The full OpenVX 1.0 specification and details about the OpenVX Adopters Program are available at www.khronos.org/openvx.

OpenVX defines a higher level of abstraction for execution and memory models than compute frameworks such as OpenCL™, enabling significant implementation innovation and efficient execution on a wide range of architectures while maintaining a consistent vision acceleration API for application portability. An OpenVX developer expresses a connected graph of vision nodes that an implementer can execute and optimize through a wide variety of techniques such as: acceleration on CPUs, GPUs, DSPs or dedicated hardware, compiler optimizations, node coalescing, and tiled execution to keep sections of processed images in local memories. This architectural agility enables OpenVX applications on a diversity of systems optimized for different levels of power and performance, including very battery-sensitive, vision-enabled, wearable displays.

“Increasingly powerful and efficient processors and image sensors are enabling engineers to incorporate visual intelligence into a wide range of systems and applications,” said Jeff Bier, founder of the Embedded Vision Alliance. “A key challenge for engineers is efficiently mapping complex algorithms onto the processor best suited to the application. OpenVX is an important step towards easing this challenge.”

The precisely defined specification and conformance tests for OpenVX make it ideal for deployment in production systems, where cross-vendor consistency and reliability are essential. OpenVX is complementary to the popular OpenCV open source vision library that is also used for application prototyping but is not so tightly defined and lacks OpenVX graph optimizations. Khronos has defined the VXU™ utility library to enable developers to call individual OpenVX nodes as standalone functions for efficient code migration from traditional vision libraries such as OpenCV. Finally, as any Khronos specification, OpenVX is extensible to enable nodes to be defined and deployed to meet customer needs, ahead of being integrated into the core specification.

Industry Support

“AMD is an enthusiastic advocate for natural user interfaces enabled by computer vision,” said Greg Stoner, senior director of application engineering, Heterogeneous Applications and Solutions, AMD. “As a proponent of open standards and a provider of highly-parallelized architectures ideal for computer vision, we embrace the OpenVX standard and look forward to standardized proliferation of these experiences throughout the industry.”

“OpenVX will be a great tool for future development of computer vision applications,” said Johan Paulsson, CTO at Axis Communications. “We see excellent potential for making development efforts future-proof by separating algorithms from hardware.”

“Cadence is integrating OpenVX into our Tensilica® Imaging/Vision Library software development kit to enable higher performance and power optimization for our scalable and configurable IVP-EP DSP cores, which are widely adopted for imaging, computer vision and automotive drivers’ assistance applications,” stated Dr. Chris Rowen, CTO of the IP Group, Cadence.

“CEVA applauds the Khronos Group on achieving this important milestone with the release of OpenVX specification,” said Eran Briman, vice president of marketing at CEVA. “With an extensive list of vendors currently sampling their computer vision ICs based on the CEVA-MM3101 DSP and a growing developers community, it is clear that the optimal way to meet the stringent performance and power requirements of computer vision applications is to offload CV processing to a dedicated processor. OpenVX enables this for developers in a seamless manner and we are now integrating it into our CEVA-MM3101 Application Developers Kit (ADK).”

“As one of the first innovators in embedded vision, CogniVue will be supporting a compliant OpenVX implementation for our APEX Image Cognition Processing technology with announcements coming,” said Tom Wilson vice president of product management and marketing at CogniVue.

“We see OpenVX as a promising tailor-made standard tool for developing performant, low-power, while portable computer vision applications for our mobile devices,” said Zhouhong, president of
Central Hardware Engineering Institute, Huawei. “Based on its tightly defined nature, we also see
OpenVX to serve as a standard benchmark suite which can promote the development of ever-more power efficient computer vision accelerators, a component likely to become must-have for coming mobile products.”

“Vision applications will be a defining feature and differentiator for products in a wide range of markets including mobile, smart home, automotive, retail analytics, public safety and more. Imagination’s IP cores including PowerVR GPUs and video processors, Raptor imaging processors and MIPS CPUs are already used in vision applications, and we expect this trend to accelerate,” said Peter McGuinness, director of Multimedia Technology Marketing, Imagination. “We are delighted to be involved with defining the specification for OpenVX 1.0, which we believe is a valuable starting point for accelerating creation and adoption of vision applications.”

“Intel supports and welcomes the adoption of OpenVX as an important element in proliferating computer vision usage models,” said Ofri Wechsler, Intel Fellow. “In fact, Intel has a long history in supporting the development of the computer vision domain spanning the creation of OpenCV more than two decades ago to the active optimization of OpenCV 3.0 for Intel CPUs and Intel Processor Graphics”

“OpenVX enables disrupting computer vision applications that run on low-power mobile and wearable devices,” said Victor Erukhimov, CEO of Itseez, Inc., and chair of the OpenVX working group. “We see it as an optimization layer for many of our projects, from sophisticated middleware for smartphones to advanced driver assistance technologies and mobile 3D scanning.”

“We are excited to contribute to the next generation of computer vision applications,” says A.G.K. Karunakaran, CEO of MulticoreWare. “Our experts are already working with leading device OEMs and semiconductor companies on the development of OpenVX platforms and computer vision libraries that leverage multicore heterogeneous processors including CPUs, GPUs, DSPs, VSPs, and other programmable architectures.”

“Real-time vision processing combined with advanced graphics is inter-twining the real and virtual worlds to enable true visual computing applications,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president of mobile ecosystem at NVIDIA. “NVIDIA is integrating OpenVX into our VisionWorks SDK so GPU-accelerated vision nodes can be easily combined into pipelines for a range of advanced vision applications.”

"Renesas is pleased to take part in the launch of OpenVX that is expected to have a significant impact on the vision application domain," said Masayuki Mizuno, vice president, chief of Incubation Center at Renesas Electronics Corporation. "We believe OpenVX will break new ground in vision applications by introducing graph-based optimization as well as by defining standard vision APIs.”

“Samsung is committed to bringing novel, useful, and fun computer vision applications to our mobile devices. The standard framework of OpenVX lets us develop portable applications for diverse application processors and consumer devices, from tablets and handsets to wearables,” said Mike Polley, senior vice president and head of the Samsung Mobile Processor Innovation Lab. “Samsung encourages the industry to support OpenVX to enable broad availability of computer vision on mobile platforms, allowing Samsung and independent software developers to unlock the potential of our advanced processing architectures and deploy pervasive, revolutionary and efficient computer vision in power-constrained environments.”

“Texas Instruments is committed to enabling advanced vision analytics processing and to support customers to streamline their embedded development,” said Jason Jacob, processor general manager - ADAS, Texas Instruments. “As a member and contributor of the Khronos OpenVX working group and efforts, TI believes the release of the OpenVX specification is a key milestone in enabling Open Standards based embedded compute frameworks to drive a faster adoption rate in the market. Our digital signal processors (DSPs) provide the performance lift and power efficiency for vision analytics and TI will be enabling OpenVX on these architectures.”

“videantis congratulates the OpenVX team on reaching another major milestone,” said Hans-Joachim Stolberg, CEO at videantis. “We see OpenVX as a key open standard that enables efficient acceleration of computer vision algorithms, driving new applications such as automotive driver assistance systems, always-on camera applications, gesture interfaces, 3D capture, and augmented reality. We’re proud to bring support for this new standard to our v-MP4000HDX scalable unified video/vision processor architecture.”

“Vivante is working with leading industry partners to deliver high performance, real time, intelligent vision processing solutions in mobile, automotive and smart security products through our OpenVX based GC7000 VX Series GPUs,” said Wei-Jin Dai, CEO and President of Vivante. “This innovative design enables SoC vendors to use the same processing core for embedded vision acceleration and photorealistic 3D rendering, while keeping power consumption within mobile levels. Through a dynamic VLIW vision instruction set and enhanced shader extensions to achieve single cycle API efficiency, this new GPU Vision approach will allow rapid adoption of vision applications on Vivante OpenVX platforms.”

About The Khronos Group

The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision, sensor processing and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL™, OpenCL™, SPIR™, SYCL™, WebCL™, OpenVX™, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, StreamInput™, COLLADA™ and glTF™. All Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests. More information is available at www.khronos.org.

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Khronos, DevU, StreamInput, SPIR, SYCL, WebGL, WebCL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenVX, VXU, glTF, OpenSL ES and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. ASTC is a trademark of ARM Holdings PLC, OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.

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