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HSA Foundation Announces New Developments in Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) from Northeastern University

First HSA Academic Center of Excellence Introduces Heterogeneous Benchmark and Open Source Simulator

BOSTON, MA – Oct. 18, 2016 – The HSA Foundation has expanded its Academic Partnership Program with the addition of Northeastern University as the first HSA Academic Center of Excellence. The HSA Foundation will be expanding the program by driving innovation in heterogeneous processing to help usher in the next evolution in computing.

HSA is gaining increasing traction, noted HSA Foundation President Dr. John Glossner, with recently announced HSA compliant products, the launch earlier this year of the HSA 1.1 specification, and other key developments.

"The HSA Foundation is now developing relationships with key research universities worldwide that are looking to work on the next evolution in computing both in hardware and software," said Glossner. "HSA Academic Centers of Excellence will be exploring a wide range of HSA related areas across computer graphics, computer vision, computational photography, programming language and model research, and more."

Glossner added that research universities are key to driving forward the industry's understanding of the challenges and possibilities in heterogeneous computing.

The Northeastern University Computer Architecture Research (NUCAR) Laboratory, led by Prof. David Kaeli, has recently released HeteroMark, the first set of benchmark applications developed to evaluate HSA systems. In addition to this contribution to the open source community, the NUCAR team has also introduced Multi2sim-HSA, the first architectural simulator that supports HSA execution. This new simulator has been integrated in the Multi2sim 5.0 framework (, an open source heterogeneous simulation infrastructure used by hundreds of international researchers.

"It is a pleasure for us to work collaboratively with the HSA Foundation members. We are already seeing that our tools and workloads are being leveraged by both industry and academia, enabling them to explore the many benefits of this new computing model," said Kaeli.

"The work on HeteroMark by Northeastern University is creating an excellent architecture- and API-neutral test suite for common data parallel workloads using modern heterogeneous architecture features," said AMD Fellow Paul Blinzer. "It allows analysis of GPU and CPU contributions to traditional and collaborative compute patterns with either GPU or CPU as a producer and consumer of data, and provides a good point of comparison with traditional systems designs, clearly demonstrating the benefits of modern heterogeneous systems features defined by the HSA specifications and, for example, implemented via AMD's ROCm infrastructure."

Blinzer added that "Multi2sim is a popular system simulation tool in academic research. Integration of HSA system features allows researchers to better understand and analyze modern platform features available on heterogeneous platforms based on HSA technologies."

To learn more about engaging with the HSA Foundation on academic programs, contact

About Northeastern University

Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global, experiential, research university built on a tradition of engagement with the world, creating a distinctive approach to education and research. The university offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in nine colleges and schools, and select advanced degrees at graduate campuses in Charlotte, North Carolina, Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Toronto.

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.

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Return to: 2016 News Releases