Current semiconductor trends show a major shift in computer system architectures towards heterogeneous systems that combine a CPU with other processors such as GPUs, DSPs
; that work together, performing different tasks in parallel. This shift has brought a dramatic change in programming paradigms in the pursuit of a common language that will provide efficiency and performance portability across these systems. A wide range of programming languages and models has emerged over the last decade, all with this goal in their sights, and the trend is converging on C++ as the language of choice.
This new world of heterogeneous systems brings with it many new challenges for the C++ community and for the language itself, and if these were to be overcome then C++ would have the potential to standardize the future of heterogeneous programming. In fact this work has already begun in SG14
in form of a mandate to support massive parallel dispatch for heterogeneous devices in the C++ standard using recent models such as SYCL
. A recent approach to solving these challenges comes in the form of SYCL
, a shared-source C++ programming model for OpenCL
takes a very different approach from many before it, in that it is specifically designed to be standard C++ without any extensions to the language.
This talk will present the recent rise in demand for heterogeneous programming in C++ and the new challenges that this brings to the C++ community. It will then take a look at some of the different programming languages and models that have arrived in the heterogeneous landscape, the motivations behind them, how they have attempted to solve those challenges and what we can learn from them. Finally it will take a look at the future of heterogeneous programming in C++ and what that might look like.