HSA Foundation Launches 1.0 Specification Release for Pervasive Computing
March 17, 2015

HSA Foundation Launches 1.0 Specification Release for Pervasive Computing

SAN JOSE, CA – The  Heterogeneous System Architecture Foundation   has  released the 1.0 HSA specification, which brings the technology industry one step closer to true heterogeneous computing on platforms spanning mobile devices, to desktops, high-performance computing (HPC) systems, and servers.

HSA is a standardized platform design supported by over 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.”

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 defines how the hardware operates;
  • The HSA Programmers Reference Manual (PRM), targets the software ecosystem, tool and compiler developers; 
  • The HSA Runtime Specification 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.”