Since 2012, a group of industry heavyweights including AMD, ARM, Qualcomm, Samsung, and Imagination Technologies has been working on on a development platform that lets software more effectively use the diverse range of computational resources available in modern processors. Dubbed HSA, or Heterogeneous Systems Architecture, this open standard is designed to harness CPU, GPU, and even DSP resources. It also defines a virtual address space that allows CPUs and GPUs to access each others' memory.
Version 1.0 of the specification is now complete, and interested parties can grab it from the HSA Foundation's website. This initial release includes three documents: the system architecture specification describes how HSA-compliant hardware operates, the runtime spec details how applications interact with it, and the programming reference manual provides additional information for "software ecosystem, tool and compiler developers."
So, where's the compatible hardware? AMD revealed last month that its Carrizo APU is the "first processor in the world with HSA 1.0 support." We haven't heard about any other chips that are fully compliant with the final spec, but given HSA's backers, it seems likely that future mobile SoCs will get in on the action.
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