8 leading European organisations join forces to bring together RISC-V and SYCL standards to demonstrate ground-breaking advances in scalability of extreme data analytics via fully-open AI acceleration
The wide-spread adoption of AI has resulted in a market for novel hardware accelerators that can efficiently process AI workloads. Unfortunately, all popular AI accelerators today use proprietary hardware—software stacks, leading to a monopolization of the acceleration market by a few large industry players.
Eight leading European organizations have joined in an effort to break this monopoly via Horizon Europe project SYCLOPS (Scaling extreme analYtics with Cross-architecture acceleration based on Open Standards). The vision of SYCLOPS is to democratize AI acceleration using open standards, and enabling a healthy, competitive, innovation-driven ecosystem for Europe and beyond. This vision relies on the convergence of two important trends in the industry: (i) the standardization and adoption of RISC-V®, a free, open Instruction Set Architecture (ISA), for AI and analytics acceleration, and (ii) the emergence and growth of SYCL™ as a cross-vendor, cross-architecture, data parallel programming model for all types of accelerators, including RISC-V.
The goal of project SYCLOPS is to bring together these standards for the first time in order to demonstrate ground-breaking advances in performance and scalability of extreme data analytics using a standards-based, fully-open, AI acceleration approach.
The project kicked off its activities in January 2023 with an online meeting, where all partners took the floor to present their ambitious plans to make the project a success. SYCLOPS brings together consortium partners with expertise in several fields (computer architecture, programming languages, systems and runtimes, Big Data, High- Performance Computing) with the aim of making groundbreaking advances over state-of-the-art in AI acceleration along three axes: (i) infrastructure tools for simple, fast, cost-efficient customization of RISC-V accelerators, (ii) platform tools (compiler, runtime, interpreter) for SYCL-based cross-architecture programming, (iii) application tools (parallel algorithms, profiling and porting tools) for cross-architecture AI and analytics acceleration.
The project will demonstrate its solutions in three use-cases, namely, Autonomous Systems, High-Energy Physics, and Precision Oncology. More broadly, the advances made by SYCLOPS will foster an open European and global ecosystem of AI acceleration solutions for scaling extreme analytics based on SYCL and RISC-V standards. SYCLOPS will reinforce European leadership in the rapidly growing AI acceleration market by bringing together key European SME partners who have played a crucial role in the formation of these standards. The experience gained in SYCLOPS will also be used to contribute back to the SYCL and RISC-V standards; bringing together the two standards enables co-design in both standards, which in turn, will enable a broader AI accelerator design space, and a richer ecosystem of solutions.
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