Survey from HSA Foundation Highlights Importance, Benefits of Heterogeneous Systems

December 6, 2017

BEAVERTON, Ore., Dec. 6, 2017 — The Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Foundation today released key findings from a second comprehensive members survey. The survey reinforced why heterogeneous architectures are becoming integral for future electronic systems.

HSA is a standardized platform design supported by more than 70 technology companies and 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—including CPUs, GPUs, DSPs, FPGAs, fabrics and fixed function accelerators—in today’s complex systems-on-chip (SoCs).

Some of the survey questions – and results:

Will the system have HSA features? 

Last year, 58.82% of the respondents answered affirmatively; this year, 100%!

Will it be HSA-compliant?

In 2016, 69.23% said it would; 2017 figures rose to 80%.

What is the top challenge in implementing heterogeneous systems?

27.27% responded in 2016 that it was a lack of standards for software programming models; the 2017 survey also identified this as the most important issue, but the numbers decreased to 7.69%.

What is the top challenge in implementing heterogeneous systems?

Half of the respondents last year said it was a lack of developer ecosystem momentum.  Once again this was identified as the key issue.

Some remarks that further accentuate key survey findings:

“Many HSA Foundation members are currently designing, programming or delivering a wide range of heterogeneous systems – including those based on HSA,” said HSA Foundation President Dr. John Glossner. “Our 2017 survey provides additional insight into key issues and trends affecting these systems that power the electronic devices across every aspect of our lives.”

Greg Stoner, HSA Foundation Chairman and Managing Director said that “the Foundation is developing resources and ecosystems conducive to its members’ various focuses on different application areas, including machine learning, artificial intelligence, datacenter, embedded IoT, and high-performance computing. The Foundation has also been making progress in support of these ecosystems, getting closer to taking normal C++ code and compiling to an HSA system.”

Stoner added that “ROCm 7 by AMD will port HSA for Caffe and TensorFlow; GPT, in the meantime, is releasing an open-sourced HSAIL-based Caffe library, with the first version already up and running – this permits early access for developers.”

Dr. Xiaodong Zhang, from Huaxia General Processor Technologies, who serves as chairman of the China Regional Committee (CRC; established by the HSA Foundation to enhance global awareness of heterogeneous computing), said that “China’s semiconductor industry is rapidly developing, and the CRC is building an ecosystem in the region to include technology, talent, and markets together with an open approach to take advantage of synergies among industry, academia, research, and applications.”

About the HSA Foundation

The HSA (Heterogeneous System Architecture) Foundation is a non-profit consortium of SoC IP vendors, OEMs, Academia, SoC vendors, OSVs and ISVs, whose goal is making programming for parallel computing easy and pervasive. HSA members are building a heterogeneous computing ecosystem, rooted in industry standards, which combines scalar processing on the CPU with parallel processing on the GPU, while enabling high bandwidth access to memory and high application performance with low power consumption. HSA defines interfaces for parallel computation using CPU, GPU and other programmable and fixed function devices, while supporting a diverse set of high-level programming languages, and creating the foundation for next-generation, general-purpose computing.


Source: HSA Foundation

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