This week, technology leaders AMD, ARM, Imagination Technologies, MediaTek and Texas Instruments came together to form the HSA Foundation, a non-profit consortium established to promote the broad and open industry adoption of HSA (Heterogeneous System Architecture). The purpose is to define and promote an open standards-based approach to heterogeneous computing. Providing a common hardware specification and broad support ecosystem will make it easier for software developers to create innovative applications that can take greater advantage of today’s modern processors.
The new collaboration was announced at the AMD Fusion Developer Summit (AFDS), and the new independent consortium is open to any and all computing industry professionals with an interest in driving the next era in computing performance and energy efficiency to join. The HSA Foundation plan to deliver robust development solutions for heterogeneous computing, to drive innovative content and applications with developer tools, software developer kits (SDKs), libraries, documentation, training, support and more.
By working together to drive a single architecture, the members of the newly formed HSA Foundation hopes to overcome the programming limitations of today’s central processing units, and graphics processing units. HSA members intend to build a heterogeneous compute ecosystem, rooted in industry standards, for combining scalar processing on the CPU with parallel processing on the GPU, while enabling high bandwidth access to memory and high application performance at low power consumption.
The HSA Foundation will define core hardware interfaces for parallel computation utilizing CPU, GPU, programmable and fixed function devices. It will also define Virtual ISA – HSAIL, driver and low level runtime which will allow for support of diverse set of high-level programming languages. HSAIL runtime foundation will open up the expressiveness of OpenCL Language and broaden the appeal of OpenCL, C++ AMP to mainstream programmer.