Intel has made available a 2022 edition of its oneAPI toolkit through which it makes processor extensions accessible to DevOps teams.
James Reinders, chief evangelist for Intel software products, said the goal is to make it simpler for DevOps teams to expose extensions to any company’s processors in the runtimes developers use.
At its core, the oneAPI toolkit is a collection of APIs that Intel created for x86, graphics processing units (GPUs), application-specific integrated chips (ASICs), field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and other classes of processors.
Reinders noted that developers have never had as much ready access to so many different processor classes before. The challenge organizations face, however, is making it simpler for developers to take advantage of those capabilities in a way that doesn’t require them to write low-level code, he added.
The oneAPI 2022 toolkit adds additional capabilities including the world’s first unified compiler implementing C++, SYCL and Fortran, data-parallel Python for CPUs and GPUs, advanced accelerator performance modeling and tuning and performance acceleration for artificial intelligence (AI) and ray tracing visualization workloads. Collectively, Intel said it has made 900 new and enhanced features available via the oneAPI toolkit in the last year, including deeper Microsoft Visual Studio Code integration, support for Microsoft Visual Studio 2022 and Microsoft WSL2 for Linux development on Windows.
As IT continues to evolve it will become more routine for developers to invoke heterogeneous classes of processors within the same application, said Reinders. Those capabilities will drive an explosion of software development innovation through the rest of the decade and beyond, he added.
Intel is especially focused on making it easier for developers to invoke inference engines that take advantage of processor extensions to run AI workloads, Reinders said. Going forward, most applications will take advantage of machine learning algorithms that run inference engines optimized by Intel via extensions to its processors. As those workloads are constructed, integrating AI models within DevOps workflows will become the next major challenge, noted Reinders.
It’s too early to say how simplified access to heterogeneous processors, also known as XPUs, might change the application development landscape. The one thing that is clear is IT organizations now have more options than ever. The issue now is finding a way to invoke all those capabilities in a way that doesn’t overwhelm developers. DevOps teams will play a key role in deciding which processors and associated extensions to make available to their development teams.
In the meantime, the battle for processor dominance will only intensify in the months ahead. DevOps teams will need to decide how comfortable they are using processors manufactured by a single company like Intel or whether they want to employ a mix of processors provided by multiple vendors. Regardless of what they decide, it appears APIs will play a critical role in making it easier to benefit from advances in processor technologies.