The HSA Foundation announces the publication of the HSA 1.0 specification.
Major players in the HSA alliance include AMD, ARM, Imagination, MediaTek, Samsung and Qualcomm. Later this year, AMD's Carrizo is expected to become world's first HSA-compliant chip. HSA promises to deliver better performance and higher power efficiency.
The Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Foundation today announced a major milestone with its release of the 1.0 HSA specification, which brings the technology industry one step closer to true heterogeneous computing on platforms spanning mobile devices, desktops, high-performance computing (HPC) systems and servers.
HSA is a standardized platform design supported by more than 40 technology companies and 17 universities that unlocks the performance and power efficiency of the parallel computing engines found in most modern electronic devices. It allows developers to easily and efficiently apply the hardware resources in today's complex systems-on-chip (SOCs).
"Through HSA, we are working to ensure that end users of technology live in a world of new, incredible applications that run fast at low power," said Phil Rogers, president of the HSA Foundation. "The Foundation members have been collaborating on this project since we joined together in June 2012, and we are thrilled to be delivering the fruit of that labor today."
The newly-approved specification comprises the key elements that improve the programmability of heterogeneous processors, the portability of programming code and interoperability across different vendor devices. These include:
The HSA System Architecture Specification, which defines how the hardware operates;
The HSA Programmers Reference Manual (PRM), which targets the software ecosystem, tool and compiler developers;
The HSA Runtime Specification, which defines how applications interact with HSA platforms.
"HSA specification 1.0 includes several crucial features for efficient implementation of productive high-level languages, such as C++, Java and Python on heterogeneous computing hardware," said Professor Wen-Mei Hwu, CTO, Multicoreware, and Professor, Computer Engineering, UIUC. "Such enhancement of programmability will make the benefit of heterogeneous computing available to mainstream, mobile and server applications."
"HSA has been remarkably well accepted and supported," added Jon Peddie, who heads Jon Peddie Research, a computer graphics market research and management consulting firm. "The specification has answered an obvious need in the industry, which is reflected in its growing membership."
"Release of the new specification should help improve more power efficient computing performance across a wide array of computing platforms," said Patrick Moorhead, who leads market research firm Moor Insights & Strategy. "I anticipate a lot of interesting use cases, from video chat apps and search to TV shows and movies. App developers should also find it easier to harness all of the processors together."
The specification was officially launched today during the HSA 1.0 launch event held at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, California. The event featured a panel discussion among HSA Foundation board members, including AMD, ARM, Imagination Technologies, LG, MediaTek, Qualcomm and Samsung. A developer panel of industry luminaries discussing software, the ecosystem and applications in the mobile, PC and HPC computing was also featured.
Access the specification and learn more about HSA by visiting www.hsafoundation.com