Khronos Launches SYCL 2020 Adopters Program and Open Source Conformance Test Suite

SYCL implementers are invited to become official Adopters to promote reliable, cross-platform, C++-based heterogeneous parallel programming  

Beaverton, OR  – November 9, 2023  – The Khronos® Group, an open consortium of industry-leading companies creating advanced interoperability standards, announces the launch of the SYCL™ 2020 Adopters Program to enable implementations to become officially conformant to the latest-generation SYCL specification—and to ensure that SYCL is consistently implemented by multiple vendors to create a reliable platform for developers. SYCL 2020 is the open industry standard for single-source C++-based heterogeneous parallel programming. The SYCL Working Group has released an updated Conformance Test Suite (CTS) as part of the SYCL 2020 Adopters Program, making it available as an open-source GitHub project to enable broad industry participation in implementation testing and ongoing test suite improvements. 

“Rigorous conformance testing is the foundation of any meaningful cross-platform standard as it enables application developers to benefit from the reliable implementation and availability of the complete set of features and ongoing improvements in a specification. The successful release of the new SYCL 2020 Conformance Test Suite is the result of a substantial effort by Khronos and the SYCL Working Group members, and is a significant milestone for the SYCL ecosystem,” said Tom Deakin, SYCL Working Group Chair at Khronos.

The updated SYCL 2020 CTS includes a new test framework and incorporates coverage for new SYCL 2020 features. Khronos has released the CTS as an open-source project to enable industry participation in the development and incorporation of improvements to the test suite, and to encourage its use by SYCL implementers as they work towards official conformance. 

Any company implementing SYCL, whether or not a Khronos member, is welcome to become a SYCL 2020 Adopter in order to submit conformance test results for SYCL Working Group review and approval. Adopters whose implementations pass the defined conformance criteria can use the royalty-free SYCL trademark and gain protection under the Khronos Intellectual Property Framework. 

Khronos invites companies to join the SYCL 2020 Adopters Program, submit test results, and share comments and feedback about the program and the test suite to the SYCL Working Group. General information on Khronos Adopters Programs can be found here.

Industry Support for the SYCL 2020 Adopters Program

“Amidst the dramatic changes sweeping both the technology and market landscape, nationwide HPC centers like Cineca are facing ever more difficult challenges in all aspects of HPC production, from education, research, and engineering to selecting the most efficient and sustainable programming model. In recent years, Cineca has invested in SYCL as a way to give an answer to some of these challenges. That is why we think this new version of the SYCL CTS brings great value to industry and academia by ensuring stability and compliance for SYCL implementations. This enables users to confidently scale across platforms while also enabling  HPC centers to avoid blocking conditions. Another key factor that we have evaluated across our large user base is confidence in leveraging modern (and highly sought after) standard SYCL functionality with confidence that any SYCL implementation tested against the CTS will be stable and reliable in production,” said Sanzio Bassini, director of HPC at Cineca.

“A comprehensive conformance test suite ensures that the software unambiguously meets the requirements as documented in the specification and as such, is an integral part of the software testing life cycle. The SYCL SC Working Group is looking forward to using the SYCL 2020 CTS as the basis for a SYCL SC CTS, which is an important requisite for a safety critical API,” said Verena Beckham, chair of the SYCL SC Working Group at Khronos. 

“SYCL is the foundation on which we have built the Celerity runtime system, and we actively employ it in large-scale EU-funded research projects, targeting tier-0 HPC clusters. These feature a great variety of hardware and software stacks, making it frequently challenging to ensure reliable execution across architectures. The SYCL CTS will enable us to validate that a given implementation conforms to expectations and will also allow the SYCL implementations we depend on to converge on conformance more rapidly. It is a fundamentally important step towards better technological readiness for the entire SYCL ecosystem,” said Peter Thoman, assistant professor at the University of Innsbruck and work package leader in the EuroHPC Ligate project. 

About SYCL

First introduced in 2014, SYCL is a C++ based heterogeneous parallel programming framework for accelerating High Performance Computing (HPC), machine learning, embedded computing, and compute-intensive desktop applications on a wide range of processor architectures, including CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, and tensor accelerators. SYCL 2020 builds on the functionality of SYCL 1.2.1 to provide improved programmability, smaller code size and increased performance. Based on C++17, SYCL 2020 enables easier acceleration of standard C++ applications and drives a closer alignment with the ISO C++ roadmap. SYCL 2020 accelerates adoption and deployment of SYCL across multiple platforms, including the use of diverse acceleration API backends in addition to OpenCL™.

About Khronos

The Khronos Group is an open, non-profit, member-driven consortium of close to 200 industry-leading companies creating advanced, royalty-free, interoperability standards for 3D graphics, metaverse, augmented and virtual reality, parallel programming, vision acceleration and machine learning. Khronos activities include 3D Commerce™, ANARI™, glTF™, Kamaros™, NNEF™, OpenCL™, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, OpenVG™, OpenVX™, OpenXR™, SPIR-V™, SPIR-V™, SYCL™, Vulkan®, and WebGL™. Khronos members drive the development and evolution of Khronos specifications and are able to accelerate the delivery of cutting-edge platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.


Khronos® and Vulkan® are registered trademarks, and ANARI™, WebGL™, glTF™, KTX™, NNEF™, OpenVX™, SPIR™, SPIR-V™, SYCL™, OpenVG™, Karamos™ and 3D Commerce™ are trademarks of The Khronos Group Inc. OpenXR™ is a trademark owned by The Khronos Group Inc. and is registered as a trademark in China, the European Union, Japan and the United Kingdom. OpenCL™ is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL® is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES™ and OpenGL SC™ logos are trademarks of Hewlett Packard Enterprise used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.