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HSA Foundation Releases HSA 1.0 Specification For Pervasive Energy-Efficient Parallel Computing

By - Source: Heterogeneous System Architecture Foundation

The Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Foundation released version 1.0 of the HSA Specifications, which defines a parallel, heterogeneous, computing architecture spanning the range from mobile devices to High Performance Computing (HPC) systems and servers. This specification will allow developers to make the most of the power inherent in today’s electronic devices.

"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 non-profit HSA is comprised of over 40 technology companies and 17 academic institutions whose goal is to optimize programming for parallel computing on modern computing devices. The HSA Specification 1.0 defines interfaces for parallel computing using CPU, GPU and other programmable and fixed function devices. The specification supports C++, Python, Java and many more programming languages.

The HSA Specification 1.0 released today consists of the HSA System Architecture, which defines hardware operation; the HSA Programmers Reference Manual, which outlines the software ecosystem and development tool specifications; and the HSA Runtime Specification, which defines how applications interact with HSA systems.

The HSA Foundation envisions a world where mobile devices run multimedia apps with low power consumption, where PCs make full use of GPU acceleration for multimedia applications, and where we see advances in HPC using parallel computing standards such as OpenMP and MPI. The HSA Specifications seek to lower software development costs by using a common software stack, thereby avoiding the use of custom software stacks for every hardware vendor.

Looking ahead, the HSA working groups are already working on Specification 1.1, which will include backward compatibility with 1.0, standard APIs for debugging and profiling, and incorporation of hardware and software learning into the spec.