Qualcomm Publishes Open-Source Compiler & User-Space For Their Cloud AI Accelerator

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 16 March 2023 at 06:19 AM EDT. 4 Comments
Last month Qualcomm published updated patches for their Cloud AI 100 kernel driver to support this inference accelerator. The Qualcomm engineers said at the time that their user-space driver and associated compiler would be published shortly. That panned out and the user-space portion of this open-source AI inference stack was recently published.

Qualcomm has out their QAIC user-mode driver and compiler for interfacing with their work-in-progress kernel driver that is working its way to the kernel's new "accel" accelerator subsystem.

QAIC user-space code published

Via this GitHub repository is the user-mode driver / software kit for the Cloud AI 100 and this repository has the compiler. This is crucial for getting the kernel accelerator driver mainlined as open user-space clients to interface with the kernel driver are mandatory. This milestone is similar to Intel's Habana Labs who for several years has also provided a fully open-source kernel and user-space stack for their AI hardware.

Both Qualcomm's user-mode driver and the compiler are published under a BSD-3-Clause-Clear license. The software kit also includes a few sample applications, including a tool for querying QAIC 100 cards and for deploying applications to the hardware.

The Qualcomm Cloud AI 100 features up to 16 AI cores on a 7nm process, up to 32GB of LPDDR4x system memory in a quad channel configuration., and is designed for AI inference from the cloud to the edge.

Now that the open-source user-space code is available, we'll see if that helps get the "qaic" accelerator kernel driver mainlined soon.
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