Beignet Compiler

This code base contains the compiler part of the Beignet OpenCL stack. The compiler is responsible to take a OpenCL language string and to compile it into a binary that can be executed on Intel integrated GPUs.


After two years development, beignet is mature now. It now supports all the OpenCL 1.2 mandatory features. Beignet get almost 100% pass rate with both OpenCV 3.0 test suite and the piglit opencl test suite. There are some performance tuning related items remained, see here for a (incomplete) lists of things to do.

Interface with the run-time

Even if the compiler makes a very liberal use of C++ (templates, variadic templates, macros), we really tried hard to make a very simple interface with the run-time. The interface is therefore a pure C99 interface and it is defined in src/backend/program.h.

The goal is to hide the complexity of the inner data structures and to enable simple run-time implementation using straightforward C99.

Note that the data structures are fully opaque: this allows us to use both the C++ simulator or the real Gen program in a relatively non-intrusive way.

Various environment variables

Environment variables are used all over the code. Most important ones are:

  • OCL_STRICT_CONFORMANCE (0 or 1). Gen does not provide native high precision math instructions compliant with OpenCL Spec. So we provide a software version to meet the high precision requirement. Obviously the software version's performance is not as good as native version supported by GEN hardware. What's more, most graphics application don't need this high precision, so we choose 0 as the default value. So OpenCL apps do not suffer the performance penalty for using high precision math functions.

  • OCL_SIMD_WIDTH (8 or 16). Select the number of lanes per hardware thread, Normally, you don't need to set it, we will select suitable simd width for a given kernel. Default value is 16.

  • OCL_OUTPUT_GEN_IR (0 or 1). Output Gen IR (scalar intermediate representation) code

  • OCL_OUTPUT_LLVM_BEFORE_LINK (0 or 1). Output LLVM code before llvm link

  • OCL_OUTPUT_LLVM_AFTER_LINK (0 or 1). Output LLVM code after llvm link

  • OCL_OUTPUT_LLVM_AFTER_GEN (0 or 1). Output LLVM code after the lowering passes, Gen IR is generated based on it.

  • OCL_OUTPUT_ASM (0 or 1). Output Gen ISA

  • OCL_OUTPUT_REG_ALLOC (0 or 1). Output Gen register allocations, including virtual register to physical register mapping, live ranges.

  • OCL_OUTPUT_BUILD_LOG (0 or 1). Output error messages if there is any during CL kernel compiling and linking.

  • OCL_OUTPUT_CFG (0 or 1). Output control flow graph in .dot file.

  • OCL_OUTPUT_CFG_ONLY (0 or 1). Output control flow graph in .dot file, but without instructions in each BasicBlock.

  • OCL_PRE_ALLOC_INSN_SCHEDULE (0 or 1). The instruction scheduler in beignet are currently splitted into two passes: before and after register allocation. The pre-alloc scheduler tend to decrease register pressure. This variable is used to disable/enable pre-alloc scheduler. This pass is disabled now for some bugs.

  • OCL_POST_ALLOC_INSN_SCHEDULE (0 or 1). Disable/enable post-alloc instruction scheduler. The post-alloc scheduler tend to reduce instruction latency. By default, this is enabled now.

  • OCL_SIMD16_SPILL_THRESHOLD (0 to 256). Tune how much registers can be spilled under SIMD16. Default value is 16. We find spill too much register under SIMD16 is not as good as fall back to SIMD8 mode. So we set the variable to control spilled register number under SIMD16.

  • OCL_USE_PCH (0 or 1). The default value is 1. If it is enabled, we use a pre compiled header file which include all basic ocl headers. This would reduce the compile time.

Implementation details

Several key decisions may use the hardware in an usual way. See the following documents for the technical details about the compiler implementation:

Ben Segovia.