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Tuesday, June 12, 2012
AMD, ARM, Imagination, MediaTek and Texas Instruments Form HSA Group


Today at the AMD Fusion Developer Summit (AFDS), AMD and several collaborators announced the formation of the Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Foundation.

AMD, ARM, Imagination, MediaTek, Texas Instruments and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. are the initial founding members of a non-profit consortium that has been established to define and promote an open, standards-based approach to heterogeneous computing that will provide a common hardware specification and support to make it easier for software developers to take multiprocessing advantage of modern processors.

The companies will work together to drive a single architecture specification and simplify the programming model to help software developers take greater advantage of the capabilities found in modern central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs), and unlock the performance and power efficiency of the parallel computing engines found in heterogeneous processors.

By standardizing the heterogeneous programming model, developers can more easily and cost-effectively develop new software tailored to take advantage of the expanding $55.5B heterogeneous (also known as "hybrid") processor market.

The HSA Foundation aims at creating industry standards that will make computing easier, more energy efficient and cost effective in the areas of client and low power computing, servers, mobiles amd embedded.

"The HSA Foundation recognizes that modern workloads are complex," said Phil Rogers, president of the HSA Foundation. "We envision a very rich set of applications emerging in the area of new user interfaces, and clever uses of the video input stream from the video cameras on the devices that follow HSA standards. We expect touch interfaces to give way to finger gestures in front of the glass, and expect applications to extract meaning from the video stream to anticipate the needs of the user. We expect new applications that draw the user into to a virtual experience, whether it is for entertainment, education or collaboration. There is so much potential for new experiences as developers are unleashed on input video and audio streams."

"HSA moves the industry beyond the constraints of the legacy system architecture of the past 25-plus years that is now stifling software innovations," said Phil Rogers. "By aiming HSA squarely at the needs of the software developer, we have designed a common hardware platform for high performance, energy efficient solutions. HSA is unlocking a new realm of possibilities across PCs, smartphones, tablets and ultrathin notebooks, as well as the innovative supercomputers and cloud services that define the modern computing experience."

As an independent consortium, the HSA Foundation is open to any and all computing industry professionals with an interest in driving the next era in computing performance and energy efficiency. The HSA Foundation welcomes semiconductor companies, platform and OS vendors, device manufacturers, independent software vendors, academia and open source developers.

In addition to the founding members, contributor and supporting-level members will assist with research, development, production, manufacture, use, and the sale of HSA and heterogeneous computing software.


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