The Heterogeneous Image Processing Acceleration Framework


HIPAcc allows to design image processing kernels and algorithms in a domain-specific language (DSL). From this high-level description, low-level target code for GPU accelerators is generated using source-to-source translation. As back ends, the framework supports C/C++, CUDA, OpenCL, and Renderscript. There is also a fork of HIPAcc that targets Vivado HLS.

HIPAcc workflow

HIPAcc allows programmers to develop imaging applications while providing high productivity, flexibility and portability as well as competitive performance: the same algorithm description serves as basis for targeting different GPU accelerators and low-level languages.

Example: Linear Filters

The LinearFilter class shown below can be instantiated with a given filter mask. This will specialize the class for the filter mask such that optimized implementations emerge from the same high-level description. Examples for this filter class are the Gaussian blur filter, the Laplace operator, or the Sobel operator.

class LinearFilter : public Kernel<uchar4> {
    Accessor<uchar4> &input;
    Mask<float> &mask;

    LinearFilter(IterationSpace<uchar4> &iter,
                 Accessor<uchar4> &input,
                 Mask<float> &mask)
        : Kernel(iter), input(input), mask(mask) {

    void kernel() {
      float4 sum =
          convolve(mask, Reduce::SUM, [&] () -> float4 {
            return mask() * convert_float4(input(mask));
      output() = convert_uchar4(sum + 0.5f);


The developers of HIPAcc are Richard Membarth (@richardmembarth) and Oliver Reiche (@oreiche).

Main Publications

Richard Membarth, Oliver Reiche, Frank Hannig, Jürgen Teich, Mario Körner, and Wieland Eckert.
HIPAcc: A Domain-Specific Language and Compiler for Image Processing.
In Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems (TPDS), 27(1), pp. 210-224, 2016.

Oliver Reiche, Moritz Schmid, Frank Hannig, Richard Membarth, and Jürgen Teich.
Code Generation from a Domain-specific Language for C-based HLS of Hardware Accelerators.
In Proceedings of the International Conference on Hardware/Software Codesign and System Synthesis (CODES+ISSS), pp. 17:1-17:10, New Delhi, India, October 12-17, 2014.

Richard Membarth, Oliver Reiche, Frank Hannig, and Jürgen Teich.
Code Generation for Embedded Heterogeneous Architectures on Android.
In Proceedings of the Conference on Design, Automation and Test in Europe (DATE), pp. 86:1-86:6, Dresden, Germany, March 24-28, 2014.

Richard Membarth
Code Generation for GPU Accelerators from a Domain-Specific Language for Medical Imaging.
Dissertation, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, ISBN 978-3-8439-1074-3, Verlag Dr. Hut, Munich, Germany, May 2, 2013.

Richard Membarth, Frank Hannig, Jürgen Teich, Mario Körner, and Wieland Eckert.
Generating Device-specific GPU Code for Local Operators in Medical Imaging.
In Proceedings of the 26th IEEE International Parallel & Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS), pp. 569-581, Shanghai, China, May 21-25, 2012.

Overview Poster

HIPAcc workflow Richard Membarth and Oliver Reiche.
HIPAcc: A Domain-Specific Language and Compiler for Image Processing.
Poster Presentation at the GPU Technology Conference (GTC), San Jose, CA, USA, March 24-27, 2014.