Kokkos Joins High Performance Software Foundation

Posted on May 20, 2024 • 3 min read • 520 words

Kokkos Joins High Performance Software Foundation

Kokkos is among the six initial technical projects of the newly created High Performance Software Foundation (HPSF). HPSF is set up as an umbrella organization within the Linux Foundation to foster collaboration around the development and support of its associated technical projects. Conceived through an initial collaboration between the Spack and the Kokkos team, this effort has brought together institutions that want to foster a more cooperative effort of developing and maintaining key open-source projects in the space of high performance computing and related compute intensive areas.

Historically the HPC community has been characterized by a large amount of fragmentation, with many similar or even identical capabilities developed at different institutions. Many projects were reluctant to rely on third party libraries due to the lack of reliable software support funding mechanism in the scientific community. Furthermore, the lack of community governance models hindered the establishment of joint multi-institutional development efforts.

For Kokkos the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Exascale Computing Project changed that. By providing a framework that included all DOE’s national laboratories it was possible to grow the Kokkos team beyond a single institution and establish a multi-laboratory effort to develop a robust performance portability solution.

HPSF intents to be the common ground for establishing these collaborations on a global scale.

HPSF Structure

HPSF will be controlled by a Governing Board and a Technical Advisory Council. The Governing Board will consist of a mix of representatives from HPSF member organizations and some representation from technical projects such as Kokkos. It decides how to allocate the budget of the foundation, and also controls marketing and HPSF events. Furthermore, the Governing Board decides on general HPSF rules.

The Technical advisory committee organizes technical working groups and develops criteria for the project lifecycle in HPSF. It consists mainly of representatives of the technical projects. Technical governance of projects associated with HPSF is still up to each individual project. The Advisory Council is also the primary body to organize day-to-day collaboration with other Linux Foundation efforts.

Open for Global Business

Key benefits of belonging to the High-Performance Software Foundation include open governance models, resources for improving software quality and building community, as well as collaborations with the larger Linux computing ecosystem. Leveraging well established open governance models from the Linux Foundation, HPSF provides a framework to organize multi-institutional collaborations. Donating rights to Kokkos to the Linux Foundation also demonstrates that the Kokkos team and DOE are serious with their intent to evolve Kokkos into a true community project.

Benefits for Kokkos Users & Developers

Kokkos developers and users will likely experience, few, if any, change in their day-to-day activities. It will be developed using the existing mechanisms on github with funding by the existing stake-holders. On the legal side the trademark for Kokkos is now held by the Linux Foundation. Contributors will however retain their copyright.

Over the longer term joining the Linux Foundation and HPSF will enable Kokkos to build a stronger community and realize the benefits of improved software, open governance, resources for community building, and world-wide collaboration.

More information on the HPSF launch can be found in this press release.