At the Open Source Summit Europe in Bilbao, Spain, the Linux Foundation today announced the launch of the Unified Acceleration (UXL) Foundation. The group's mission is to deliver "an open standard accelerator programming model that simplifies development of performant, cross-platform applications."
The foundation's founding members include the likes of Arm, Fujitsu, Google Cloud, Imagination Technologies, Intel, Qualcomm and Samsung. The company most conspicuously missing from this list is Nvidia, which offers its own CUDA programming model for working with its GPUs.
At its core, this new foundation is an evolution of the oneAPI initiative, which is also aimed to create a new programming model to make it easier for developers to support a wide range of accelerators, no matter whether they are GPUs, FPGAs or other specialized accelerators. Like with the oneAPI spec, the aim of the new foundation is to ensure that developers can make use of these technologies without having to delve deep into the specifics of the underlying accelerators and the infrastructure they run on.
OneAPI was backed by Intel and others and this new foundation now plans to take the oneAPI specification and help implement it across the industry. That's what the Linux Foundation does best, after all, with a focus on its open governance model that draws a line between the business and technical decision-making processes.
“Linux and GNU transformed the CPU software stack through open source and standards, encompassing everything from embedded to cloud computing," said Robert Cohn, Intel Corporation, oneAPI specification editor. "As a founding member of the Unified Acceleration Foundation, I believe that open source and standards are essential for creating a cross-platform software stack for GPUs and other accelerators that will serve as the foundation for the next generation of computationally and data-intensive applications."