The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), in collaboration with the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) at Argonne National Laboratory, has signed a contract with Codeplay Software to enhance the LLVM SYCL GPU compiler capabilities for NVIDIA A100 GPUs.

This collaboration will help NERSC and ALCF users, along with the high-performance computing community in general, produce high-performance applications that are portable across compute architectures from multiple vendors.

UK-based Codeplay Software has been the lead implementor of SYCL compilers and a main contributor to the existing open source support for NVIDIA V100 GPUs through the DPC++ project.

NVIDIA A100 GPUs are available in the ThetaGPU extension of ALCF’s Theta and will power NERSC’s next-generation supercomputer, Perlmutter. NERSC supercomputers are used for scientific research by researchers working in diverse areas such as alternative energy, environment, high-energy and nuclear physics, advanced computing, materials science, and chemistry.

Over the past year, ALCF supercomputers have accelerated the development of treatments and strategies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. SYCL (pronounced “sickle”) is an open standard that is maintained under The Khronos Group.

SYCL has been closely aligned to OpenCL, but over time has evolved into its own completely distinct programming model. Under the new contract, Berkeley Lab and Argonne researchers will work with Codeplay engineers to enhance the LLVM-based DPC++ open source compiler, based on the SYCL 2020 standard, to support NVIDIA A100 GPUs.

Today the SYCL programming model supports a variety of accelerators through multiple implementations. SYCL will be supported on the forthcoming Department of Energy Aurora exascale supercomputer and, with this work, can be used with Perlmutter.

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