PENCIL: A Platform-Neutral Compute Intermediate Language for Accelerator Programming

Riyadh Baghdadi, Ulysse Beaugnon, Albert Cohen, Tobias Grosser, Michael Kruse, Chandan Reddy, Sven Verdoolaege, Adam Betts, Alastair F Donaldson, Jeroen Ketema, Javed Absar, Sven Van Haastregt, Alexey Kravets, Anton Lokhmotov, Robert David, Elnar Hajiyev

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

Programming accelerators such as GPUs with low-level APIs and languages such as OpenCL and CUDA is difficult, error-prone, and not performance-portable. Automatic parallelization and domain specific languages (DSLs) have been proposed to hide complexity and regain performance portability. We present PENCIL, a rigorously-defined subset of GNU C99-enriched with additional language constructs-that enables compilers to exploit parallelism and produce highly optimized code when targeting accelerators. PENCIL aims to serve both as a portable implementation language for libraries, and as a target language for DSL compilers. We implemented a PENCIL-to-OpenCL backend using a state-of-the-art polyhedral compiler. The polyhedral compiler, extended to handle data-dependent control flow and non-affine array accesses, generates optimized OpenCL code. To demonstrate the potential and performance portability of PENCIL and the PENCIL-to-OpenCL compiler, we consider a number of image processing kernels, a set of benchmarks from the Rodinia and SHOC suites, and DSL embedding scenarios for linear algebra (BLAS) and signal processing radar applications (SpearDE), and present experimental results for four GPU platforms: AMD Radeon HD 5670 and R9 285, NVIDIA GTX 470, and ARM Mali-T604.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2015 International Conference on Parallel Architecture and Compilation
PublisherIEEE Xplore
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4673-9524-3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2016
Event13th International Conference on Parallel Computing Technologies - Petrozavodsk, Russian Federation
Duration: 31 Aug 20154 Sept 2015

Publication series

ISSN (Electronic)1089-795X


Conference13th International Conference on Parallel Computing Technologies
Abbreviated titlePACT 2015
Country/TerritoryRussian Federation
Internet address


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