When asked if the deliberations of HSA would drive the creation of new
instruction set architectures and processor cores from Apple and others,
Davies said indicated the impact would first be at the system level and
in the interconnect around processing elements. So, for example, it
could drive the creation of hardware interconnect that will conform to
HSA guidelines; a son-of-AMBA interconnect standard.
going to be evolutionary, not revolutionary. We're tweaking around the
outside of the next Mali GPU, the next ARM CPU," said Davies. ARM
has already got OpenCL programs running on Mali GPUs and Cortex CPUs
said Davies, "but it’s a bit of a Ninja programming sport." He said the
HSA Foundation has the goal of making this much easier.
made the point that ARM's Mali-T600 family of GPUs already has many of
the features that HSA is standardizing. These include support for 64-bit
integer and floating-point arithmetic, page tables with 48-bit virtual
addresses, GPU virtual addresses shadow CPU virtual addresses and GPU
I/O is coherent with that of the CPU.
Future generations of GPU
under development at ARM will allow GPUs to directly share CPU page
tables, and make GPUs fully coherent with CPUs, Davies said.
is expected to deliver HSA-compatible GPUs that will allow appropriate
workloads to run on CPUs and GPUs in a parallel in 2014.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.