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SYCL Practitioners Hackathon 2022 (user group meeting)

SYCL Practitioners Hackathon 2022 (user group meeting)

This workshop is supported by Intel through its OneAPI Academic Centre of Excellence initiative.
  • Time: Tuesday, 22/11 evening – Wednesday 23/11 afternoon
  • Location: Durham University, Department of Computer Science

Programming in SYCL is not a disruptive challenge to experienced programmers, but it requires effort and, in some places, algorithmic redesign to harvest the full potential of SYCL. Throughout this workshop, we

  • study one or two example SYCL codes;
  • try to reproduce their runtime behaviour;
  • discuss to which degree they realise “native” SYCL behaviour, i.e. use the advantages that SYCL offers;
  • identify issues around the software stack when we handle the case studies;
  • work out if related programming patterns arise in other applications.

Participants are not required to bring along their own SYCL code or to give a talk or to have previously worked with SYCL (though this is an advantage). However, participants are requested to live-code throughout the hackathon: We will focus on our case studies, and work very hands-on/code-on with these examples, i.e. participants are expected to compile and run the code themselves and to engage in this discussion.

The workshop is offered in-person, and we aim for a follow-up event early 2023. If you want to provide a mini-app for this or future sessions, please get in contact with the workshop organisers.


The agenda below is preliminary:

  • Tuesday, 22/11, 17:00-18:00, MSCS VisLab: Participants meet informally
  • Tuesday, 22/11, 18:00-19:00, MSCS VisLab: Welcome note, introduction of workshop concept and pitch of demo code(s) used (incl stream with Intel reps)
    • Welcome note (Weinzierl)
    • Welcome note (Mahalingam and Mallinson)
    • Introduction N-body code (Todd)
    • Introduction ExaHyPE’s FV kernel (Weinzierl, Wille)
  • Tuesday, 22/11, 19:30, location The Rabbit Hole: Dinner
  • Wednesday, 23/11, 9:00-13:00, MSCS VisLab: Hackathon studying one miniapp/code example
    The Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science (MSCS) building is on top of the Mountjoy hill on the science campus, next door to Durham’s Botanic Garden. The vis lab is the central laboratory on floor 1 (room MCS1022). If you enter through the main entrance, you walk up the main staircase and enter the room to the left. If you arrive from the car park, you enter the building on floor 1 and walk all the way to the front where you find the vis lab to the right. We can organise a limited number of parking permits upon request.
  • Wednesday, 23/11, 13:00-14:00, Lunch
  • Wednesday, 23/11, 14:00-16:00, Opportunity for participants to study their own codes and to chat with colleagues on SYCL aspects
  • Wednesday, 23/11, 16:00-17:00, Public talk: The SYCL GPU vision
    (colleagues from Durham will join; streamed)
  • Wednesday, 23/11, 17:00-19:00, Fireside chat
    Participants are able to raise questions with presenters. NDA in place and therefore no streaming.
  • Wednesday, 23/11, 19:00, Closing pub visit and dinner

Accommodation and travel

There are a few hotels nearby:

All of these places are within walking distance to the computer science building. Thanks to the generous support by Intel, we can offer travel support on a case-by-case basis. The travel support is primarily aiming for Intel CoE and ExCALIBUR staff. Please contact us via

cs . researchoffice (at) durham . ac . uk
tobias . weinzierl (at)

(email both of us) to sign up and ask for support.

Machine access

Participants are expected to organise machine access ahead of time on their own. The machines below are recommended, as we will, throughout the workshop, have high priority access to them and there is experience among the participants with the respective software stacks:


Cosma access to GPU nodes can be acquired through ExCALIBUR. Sign up for an account and use the project do008.

Log into and, from there, ssh into

ga004: 1x MI100
gn001: 10x V100


If you work on NCC, please use the following nodes:

gpu10: 1x A100 (use module t.b.c.)
gpu11: 1x A100 (use module t.b.c.)
gpu12: 1x A100 (use module t.b.c.)

Codes discussed

We will discuss two particular codes throughout the event, and all participants are encouraged to download and try out these codes themselves: