Updated Plans For Adding SPIR-V Support To LLVM
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 17 June 2015 at 05:13 PM EDT. Add A Comment
AMD --
SPIR-V, the heart of OpenCL 2.1+ and The Khronos Group's forthcoming Vulkan specification, is a step closer to being worked on within the LLVM compiler stack.

Last month I wrote about an AMD developer figuring out plans for SPIR-V support in LLVM as since the announcement of this new intermediate representation there's been talk of having a converter to translate SPIR-V to/from LLVM IR so there's interoperability with existing LLVM components and back-ends. Yaxun Liu of AMD has provided an update today on this SPIR-V target support within LLVM.

The message contains the revised proposal for the LLVM/SPIR-V converter. In order to allow developers to use Clang to compile OpenCL kernels into SPIR-V binaries, the overall approach remains the same for breaking down the LLVM IR into instructions that are represented by LLVM-IR. The first milestone for the involved developers is adding support for compiling an OpenCL 1.2/2.0 kernel to SPIR-V for this new target via Clang. Work will follow in adding an OpenCL 2.1 C++ front-end for Clang. Following bringing up OpenCL kernels in SPIR-V, work would then be focused on adding GLSL front-end support and supporting the SPIR-V instructions relevant specifically to graphics. Once that's all done, the SPIR-V back-end would hopefully be fully compliant with the forthcoming SPIR-V 1.0 specification.

Besides AMD, other SPIR working group members will also be working on this bi-way converter, including Intel and others that have stakes in LLVM's OpenCL support.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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