Native and Offload Programming Models

By Ronald W Green, Published: 09/09/2012, Last Updated: 09/26/2014

Compiler Methodology for Intel® MIC Architecture

Native and Offload Programming Models


This chapter details the various programming models available on the Intel® MIC Architecture. These include the Native programming model, the Heterogeneous Offload model, and the Cilk_Offoad model. Because of the high overhead associated with data movement to/from the Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessor, this chapter also covers concepts in data movement and transfer and how to manage data offload.

Note that OpenMP 4.0 includes new directives for offloading execution to attached devices. The Intel Compiler supports the following OpenMP 4.0 features in the latest releases:


It is important to understand the three programming models (Native, Offload, Cilk_Offload) for the Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessor to determine which is the best match for your application. As part of this understanding and analysis, you need to understand the overheads associated with data movement and how to avoid unnecessary data movement and how to get peak transfer rates.


Goals for this chapter are to explore the offload models and data movement topics to determine which may be useful for your application:

  • How to Achieve Peak Transfer Rate (covers data movement optimization) (C++,  Fortran)

  • Techniques to Reduce Offload-related Memory Allocation Overheads (C++, Fortran)

  • Taking Advantage of Offload Pointer Association and alloc/into Keywords (C++, Fortran)


It is essential that you read this guide from start to finish using the built-in hyperlinks to guide you along a path to a successful port and tuning of your application(s) on Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessors. The paths provided in this guide reflect the steps necessary to get best possible application performance.

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