Intel launches new C++-based language as part of One API plans

Intel is putting together a new programming language aimed at simplifying development across workloads and architectures as part of its ‘One API’ initiative.

Data Parallel C++ (DPC++), naturally based on C++ but also incorporating elements of SYCL from The Khronos Group, is touted as being an ‘open, cross-industry alternative to single architecture proprietary languages.’

One API looks to direct programming and API programming and, in the words of an Intel blog confirming the news, will ‘deliver a unified language and libraries that offer full native code performance across a range of hardware, including CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, and AI accelerators.’

Steven Leibson, senior content manager at Intel, added more meat to the bone in a further blog post. “DPC++ delivers parallel programming productivity and performance using a programming model that’s already familiar to many developers,” he wrote. “It’s based on C++ and incorporates the Khronos Group’s SYCL, which supports single source, heterogeneous programming for OpenCL. Key machine learning frameworks such as TensorFlow increasingly support SYCL due to its open nature.

“One API will allow you to run a workload today on existing Intel Xeon-based servers and systems and then transition portions of that workload to more specialised accelerators for more performance,” Leibson added. “Thus Intel’s One API will make it easy to realise the benefits of acceleration hardware immediately without rearchitecting your code.”

C++ has had predominant usage over the years in video game development. According to a recent analysis of Stack Overflow questions from Global App Testing, one of the most common words in usage is ‘vector’, being the fundamental building block of the polygon, in itself a fundamental building block of gaming design. The language has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity, breaking into the top three in the TIOBE Index in April at the behest of Python.

Intel, which unveiled the One API update at its Software Technology Day in London, gave little away on timeframes. The company said it would release a developer beta ‘and additional details’ in the fourth quarter of 2019.

You can find out more about Data Parallel C++ here.

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