Beehive SPIR-V Toolkit: A Composable and Functional API for Runtime SPIR-V Code Generation

Juan Fumero Alfonso, György Rethy, Athanasios Stratikopoulos, Nikolaos Foutris, Christos-Efthymios Kotselidis
ETH Zurich
15th ACM SIGPLAN International Workshop on Virtual Machines and Intermediate Languages (VMIL ’23), 2023


   title={Beehive SPIR-V Toolkit: A Composable and Functional API for Runtime SPIR-V Code Generation},

   author={Alfonso, Juan Fumero and Rethy, Gy{"o}rgy and Stratikopoulos, Athanasios and Foutris, Nikolaos and Kotselidis, Christos-Efthymios},



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The Standard Portable Intermediate Representation (SPIR-V) is a low-level binary format designed for representing shaders and compute kernels that can be consumed by OpenCL for computing kernels, and Vulkan for graphics rendering. As a binary representation, SPIR-V is meant to be used by compilers and runtime systems, and is usually performed by C/C++ programs and the LLVM software and compiler ecosystem. However, not all programming environments, runtime systems, and language implementations are C/C++ or based on LLVM. This paper presents the Beehive SPIR-V Toolkit; a framework that can automatically generate a Java composable and functional library for dynamically building SPIR-V binary modules. The Beehive SPIR-V Toolkit can be used by optimizing compilers and runtime systems to generate and validate SPIR-V binary modules from managed runtime systems. Furthermore, our framework is architected to accommodate new SPIR-V releases in an easy-to-maintain manner, and it facilitates the automatic generation of Java libraries for other standards, besides SPIR-V. The Beehive SPIR-V Toolkit also includes an assembler that emits SPIR-V binary modules from disassembled SPIR-V text files, and a disassembler that converts the SPIR-V binary code into a text file. To the best of our knowledge, the Beehive SPIR-V Toolkit is the first Java programming framework that can dynamically generate SPIR-V binary modules. To demonstrate the use of our framework, we showcase the integration of the SPIR-V Beehive Toolkit in the context of the TornadoVM, a Java framework for automatically offloading and running Java programs on heterogeneous hardware. We show that, via the SPIR-V Beehive Toolkit, TornadoVM is able to compile code 3x faster than its existing OpenCL C JIT compiler, and it performs up to 1.52x faster than the existing OpenCL C backend in TornadoVM.
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