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SYCL Safety-Critical
Exploratory Forum

Anyone working in safety-critical industries, with a need for high-level heterogeneous computing, such as automotive, avionics, industrial and medical is invited to join the free exploratory group and have your voice heard.

Call for Participation in New SYCL Safety-Critical Exploratory Forum

On March 22, 2022 Khronos announced the call for participation in a new exploratory forum to examine the need for an API that leverages the widely adopted SYCL™ standard for safety-critical industries such as automotive, avionics, medical, and industrial markets. Read the Press Release.

The Need for Safety-Critical Compute API Standards

The demand for advanced compute is growing in a wide range of industries where safety is paramount, including automotive and avionics where it is vital that systems meet safety-critical standards. First introduced in 2014, SYCL is a C++ based heterogeneous parallel programming framework for accelerating High-Performance Computing (HPC), machine learning, embedded computing, and compute-intensive desktop applications on a wide range of processor architectures, including CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, and ML accelerators.

The high-level goal of a safety-critical version of the SYCL API would be to adhere to MISRA C++ 202X guidelines and align with safety certification standards such as RTCA DO-178C Level A / EASA ED-12C (avionics), ISO 26262/21448 (automotive), IEC 61508 (industrial), and IEC 62304 (Medical). SYCL SC would also complement the recently released Khronos Vulkan Safety-Critical specification for lower-level advanced graphic and compute applications.

Overview Presentation

View this presentation ins PDF format here.

Industry Support for the Exploratory Forum

“We have seen an explosion in Machine Learning and AI solutions over the past decade due in part to the ecosystem of open standard libraries and frameworks that enable engineers to quickly prototype ideas. A key player in this ecosystem, Khronos has developed compute APIs like OpenCL™ and SYCL. Now, as the need increases for safety-critical APIs that can meet application engineers at levels of abstraction that they are familiar with, Khronos members are developing those standards. Vulkan SC facilitates deterministic execution of compute and graphics operations and OpenVX™ provides a safety profile for deploying discrete vision algorithms and Neural Network inferencing. SYCL SC is the next logical step to provide a full stack of SC APIs that can meet each required level of abstraction: Low level compute (Vulkan SC), Computer Vision and NNs (OpenVX), parallel programming interface at a C++ level (SYCL SC).”

Kenneth Wenger
Senior Director Research & Innovation at CoreAVI and active participant in SYCL and Vulkan Safety-Critical Working Groups

“At Codeplay, we believe that the future of technology should be built on open industry standards, especially safety-critical systems. We have led the development of SYCL, the open standard to accelerate AI and HPC applications via heterogeneous computing. Now we look forward to helping do the same for safety-critical software. To make this a success we need to listen to companies developing the next generation of safety-critical hardware and software, to understand their requirements and be able to create the standard they are looking for.”

Verena Beckham
VP of Safety Engineering at Codeplay

Exploratory Forum Process

The SYCL SC Exploratory Forum will use Khronos’ proven ‘New Initiative’ process to ensure that a wide range of industry requirements are fully understood before starting any detailed standardization work.

All Forum participants will have an equal voice in exploring industry consensus to create a Statement of Work (SOW) document describing the objectives and high-level direction of any standardization initiative. To encourage open discussion all contributions will be covered by a simple Khronos Project NDA, but will not discuss detailed technical design contributions to protect participants intellectual property (IP).

The first forum meeting will be on Monday, April 4 2022, with online meetings taking place over a period of several months.

Join the Forum

Any companies, consortiums, open-source participants, and industry experts who are willing to sign the standard Khronos NDA are welcome. To join, please complete and DocuSign the Mutual NDA form. We will countersign the form and contact you with instructions on how to create an account and access the SYCL SC Exploratory Forum portal. Alternatively you can download and fill out the NDA PDF version and send to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Once the NDA is executed any employee of your organisation will be able to register and obtain a login to the Khronos SYCL SC portal. The portal contains a shared document repository, a discussion mailing list and a Zoom meeting schedule.

Contact us at SYCL SC Exploratory Forum Chairs if you have questions about getting involved.

Khronos Safety-Critical API Evolution

Khronos has close to 20 years experience in adapting mainstream APIs for safety critical markets. In 2005 OpenGL SC 1.0 defined a minimal subset of OpenGL ES 1.0 for easier certification to the DO-178B standard for avionics displays. When OpenGL ES 2.0 introduced programmable shaders, OpenGL SC 2.0 integrated that functionality for ISO 26262 certification for automotive displays. In early 2022 Khronos defined a safety critical subset of the low-level Vulkan graphics and compute API to create Vulkan SC.