Library Interoperability

Libraries support API programming. oneAPI libraries meet the following requirements to ensure interoperability and provide full platform performance.


APIs that launch a computation on a device allow the programmer to control where the computation is performed by passing a queue. A queue can be passed with every invocation or it can be passed once and retained in a library’s internal state.

API Arguments

When an API accepts a buffer as an argument there is an equivalent API that accepts a unified-shared memory (USM) pointer. Some API’s accept a USM pointer but do not have variants that accept buffers.

APIs document when an argument is accessed from a device and when an argument is accessed by the host. Behavior is undefined if you pass a device argument that is not accessible by the device (non-USM pointer, for example), or a host argument that is not accessible by the host (malloc_device, for example).

Asynchronous APIs

To achieve the best performance on a oneAPI platform, the host and devices should execute concurrently. Concurrent execution is supported via asynchronous APIs that queue one or more kernels and immediately return control to the host. Synchronous APIs stall the host thread until the API is complete.

Scheduling of an asynchronous oneAPI library call is controlled by two mechanisms:

  • APIs that accept buffers rely on the buffer/accessor mechanism in the oneAPI runtime to schedule computation on the host and devices.

  • APIs that accept USM pointers accept a vector of prerequisite events and the scheduler waits on the events before submitting the call for execution on the device. The API returns an event that another kernel or library API can wait on to ensure the output data is ready.


This specification recommends that oneAPI library APIs signal errors by throwing C++ exceptions. Some APIs use alternative methods for error reporting, due to legacy requirements.