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Intel today announced key milestones in its multiyear journey to deliver a mix of architectures with a unified software experience. The company announced the gold release of Intel® oneAPI toolkits coming in December, and new capabilities in its software stack as part of the Intel’s combined hardware and software design approach. Intel also debuted its first discrete graphics processing unit (GPU) for the data center, Intel® Server GPU, based on the Xe-LP microarchitecture and designed specifically for high-density, low-latency Android cloud gaming and media streaming.

“Today is a key moment in our ambitious oneAPI and XPU journey. With the gold release of our oneAPI toolkits, we have extended the developer experience from familiar CPU programming libraries and tools to include our vector-matrix-spatial architectures. We are also launching our first data center GPU based on Xe-LP microarchitecture focused on the fast-growing cloud gaming and media streaming segments.”
–Raja Koduri, Intel senior vice president, chief architect and general manager of Architecture, Graphics and Software

Why It Matters: As the world moves into an era of billions of intelligent devices and an exponential growth of data, CPUs alone require a shift in focus to a mix of architectures across CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs and other accelerators. Intel collectively describes this as “XPU” vision. The launch of the Intel Server GPU is another step to extend Intel’s offering in the XPU era.

This era of computing also requires a comprehensive software stack. Developers will be able to access a common, open and standards-based programming model across Intel® XPUs with Intel’s oneAPI toolkits. They deliver on the performance potential of the underlying hardware and lower software development and maintenance costs while reducing risks associated with deploying accelerated computing relative to proprietary, vendor-specific solutions.

About the Gold Release of Intel oneAPI Toolkits: First announced at SuperComputing 2019, the oneAPI industry initiative is a bold vision for a unified and simplified cross-architecture programming model that delivers uncompromised performance without proprietary lock-in while enabling the integration of legacy code. With oneAPI, developers can choose the best architecture for the specific problem they are trying to solve without needing to rewrite software for the next architecture and platform.

Intel oneAPI toolkits take full advantage of cutting-edge hardware capabilities and instructions such as Intel® AVX-512 and Intel® DL Boost on CPUs, along with features unique to XPUs. Built on long-standing and proven Intel developer tools, Intel oneAPI toolkits deliver familiar languages and standards while providing full continuity with existing code.

Today Intel announced that the gold release of Intel oneAPI toolkits will be shipping in December, available for free, locally and in the Intel® DevCloud, along with commercial versions that include worldwide support from Intel technical consulting engineers. Intel will immediately transition Intel® Parallel Studio XE and Intel® System Studio tool suites to its oneAPI products.

In addition, the Intel DevCloud, where developers can test code and workloads on a variety of Intel architectures, is expanding to include new Intel® Iris® Xe graphics hardware. Intel Iris Xe MAX graphics is now available for public access; and Intel Xe-HP is available to select developers.

oneAPI has received industry support, including recent endorsements from Microsoft Azure and TensorFlow; leading research organizations, companies and universities also endorse oneAPI.

In addition, the University of Illinois Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology today announced the establishment of a new oneAPI center of excellence (CoE). It is using the oneAPI programming model to extend the life sciences application nanoscale molecular dynamics (NAMD) to additional computing environments. NAMD, which simulate large biomolecular systems, is helping to tackle real-world challenges such as COVID-19. This CoE joins others at the University of Stockholm (SeRC) who are focusing on GROMACS, and Heidelberg University’s (URZ), where they’re focusing on delivering oneAPI support to GPUs from other vendors.”

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