Developers promised powerful compute resource under TensorFlow with native support for PowerVR GPUs

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Imagination Technologies has announced developers working with TensorFlow will be able to target PowerVR GPUs directly thanks to newly optimised open source SYCL neural network libraries.

SYCL is a royalty-free, open standards alternative to CUDA. It breaks down ecosystem barriers to give developers more freedom to write using standard C++ and port existing code.

The SYCL version of TensorFlow supports many AI operations and is user customisable. That means developers using the latest neural networks, or researching their own AI technologies, can run those networks out-of-the-box with high performance on PowerVR. The first release will be available in November 2019.

Additionally, the Codeplay SYCL libraries allow applications to seamlessly leverage the IMGDNN PowerVR optimised API. IMGDNN is Imagination’s proprietary neural network graph compilation library that helps developers achieve the maximum performance from PowerVR GPUs and NNAs.

The company has explained that various sectors will be able to benefit from this newly expanded ecosystem, including automotive, data centre and smart cameras.

Neal Forse, senior director of product management, Imagination Technologies, commented, “Working within an open standard framework gives developers peace of mind that their code won’t date or need to be rewritten. With access to the widely used PowerVR GPU’s via SYCL, developers will have a powerful compute resource easily available under TensorFlow.”

Andrew Richards, CEO, Codeplay, added, “We are now seeing huge growth in market adoption of the SYCL standard. Renesas enables SYCL on their R-Car automotive AI platform and now Intel is including SYCL in their One API. This growth in standardisation for programming high performance accelerators like the PowerVR GPU will enable AI software developers to bring advanced intelligence to everything from tiny low-power battery devices to huge supercomputers.”

SYCL builds on the concepts and efficiency of Khronos OpenCL. The PowerVR-optimised SYCL libraries – SYCL-DNN, SYCL-BLAS and Eigen – will be available on GitHub. A TensorFlow fork containing extended SYCL support is available from Codeplay’s GitHub.