Intel Continues Readying Linux/Open-Source For AMX, Begins Discussing Programming Model

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 16 August 2020 at 07:50 AM EDT. 2 Comments
Back in June after Intel first published the Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX) specification, the open-source/Linux patches were quick to come by their large software team. That work has continued over the summer in ensuring the Linux ecosystem and developers are ready for Intel AMX programming come next year with Sapphire Rapids.

Intel already landed initial support in LLVM as well as GCC and related components like the GNU Assembler. Intel's stellar software engineers have been working punctually to ensure all the bits are out there. AMX consists of "tiles" as a set of two-dimensional registers for representing a larger memory image and accelerators that can operate on said tiles with a focus on AI workloads for both training and inference among other possibilities.

Intel this week sent out their proposed Intel AMX ABI documentation. Following that they then kicked off an AMX programming model discussion intended for both GCC and Clang. The AMX programming model discussion with all the technical details can be found via this mailing list thread.

The proposal covers their planned C data type for AMX, intrinsics, user interfaces, and also how to represent it within LLVM IR. It will certainly be interesting to see how well Intel AMX performs once hardware begins shipping next year as well as how the adoption of it is on the software side. At least it's looking like the compiler toolchain support around Advanced Matrix Extensions will be in good shape for launch.
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