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Heterogeneous Computing Standards & International AI Conference Paving the Way Towards Global HSA Specifications

Xiamen, Fujian, China, July 9, 2017 – The recently concluded Heterogeneous Computing Standards & International AI Conference, held in Xiamen, is helping to lay the groundwork for heterogeneous computing standards not only in China, but worldwide. The two-day event was co-hosted by the China Electronic Standardization Institute (CESI), the HSA Foundation and the Chinese Association of Artificial Intelligence, with an organizing committee including Huaxia General Processor Technologies, the HSA Foundation's newly formed China Regional Committee (CRC), and the Xiamen Integrated Circuit Industry Association.

Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) is a standardized platform design that unlocks the performance and power efficiency of the parallel computing engines found in most modern electronic devices. It provides an ideal mainstream platform for next-generation SoCs in a range of applications including artificial intelligence.

The Heterogeneous Computing Standards & International AI Conference brought together a number of industry leaders to discuss processors, software, applications, machine learning, and fintech for heterogeneous systems in artificial intelligence applications. HSA Foundation members including AMD, Arteris, Cadence, CESI, Huaxia General Processor Technologies, Imagination Technologies, Shanghai Advanced Research Institute - Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Xiamen University shared their latest results with hundreds of participants at the event.

Other presenting companies included Creekspring AI, DeepGlint, DeepPhi Tech, Gold Medal Global Investment, ICETech, KACHIP, Sanechips Technology, State Grid, and others. Dozens of renowned scholars and officials from universities, institutes and related industry companies also participated in the event.

The recently formed HSA Foundation CRC is laying the groundwork for standardization progress in heterogeneous computing standards in China. It is focused on supporting the needs of HSA Foundation members in China and helping to fulfill the mission of the Foundation, which is to make heterogeneous programming universally easier. The formation of the CRC and potential global adoption of the work done by the CRC will advance China's semiconductor industry as well as contribute to worldwide growth.

"As China is emerging as a powerhouse in programming heterogeneous systems, AI and semiconductor technology, it is natural to invite key scientists and companies from China to adopt and adapt technologies and specifications. We fully anticipate that these changes will not remain local to CRC working groups but will be incorporated into the global specifications and adopted worldwide," said Dr. John Glossner, HSA Foundation president.

The CRC has instituted the following working groups and elected their Chairs to evaluate, enhance and develop HSA technologies:

  • Application & System Evaluation Working Group - Dr. Kunlun Gao, Global Energy Interconnection Research Institute
  • Virtual ISA Working Group - Dr. Jun Han, Fudan University
  • System Architecture Working Group - Wanting Tian, Sanechips Technology
  • Compilation & Runtime LIB Working Group - Dr. Lei Wang, Huaxia GPT
  • OS & Multivendor Working Group - Dr. Min Gong, Beijing Linx Technology
  • Interconnect Working Group - Dr. Zhiyi Yu, Sun Yat-sen University
  • Security & Protection Working Group - Dr. Songhai Liang, Nationz Technologies
  • Conformance Test Working Group - Dawei Chen, CESI

Supporting Quotes:

"Nearly all SoC's are heterogeneous systems. The HSA Foundation's technology makes programming these systems much simpler by providing single-source toolchains, common API's, and a choice of programming languages. When executed on an HSA runtime, both high performance and low power can be achieved. GPT has licensable cores supporting HSA technologies and is actively contributing to the development of the specifications". By internally adopting HSA, GPT has accelerated development of heterogeneous systems in multiple application domains including machine learning and artificial intelligence."

- Kerry Li, CEO, Huaxia General Processor Technologies

"China is firmly placed at the heart of heterogeneous systems, AI and semiconductor technology, with the HSA Foundation playing a key role in increasing awareness within the industry of the challenges and driving the availability of solutions. The recent China Regional Council event was a real triumph and Imagination was very pleased to participate in such a successful event. The event highlighted just how much potential heterogeneous computing has in terms of AI. As a founding member of the HSA Foundation, we look forward to continuing our work with other members to create specifications that make it easier to develop and program heterogeneous SoCs, as well as developing IP cores that enable the realization of such SoCs." 

- James Liu, VP and GM China, Imagination Technologies

Application & System Evaluation Working Group
"Our goal is to verify the advanced nature of the HSA technology and the applicability of the HSA standards through a typical application demonstration. HSA has become a trend in advanced computing technology; its huge technical potential cannot just stay on paper as for standards, it also plays a role in multiple applications, reflecting the technical value through verification of actual cases. State Grid, the world's largest public service corporation, has an urgent need for high-speed computing and artificial intelligence computing for ultra-large-scale power grids. We anticipate that HSA technology will be used in the future to meet these computing needs and ensure the smooth implementation of the national strategy on Global Energy Interconnection."

- Dr. Kunlun Gao, Director of Computing and Application Lab,
Global Energy Interconnection Research Institute

Virtual ISA Working Group
"Our working group will focus on virtual explicitly parallel ISA that brings parallel acceleration to high level language. The virtual ISA, called HSAIL, can be finalized to native ISAs of different architectures such as CPU, GPU, DSP, custom accelerator, etc. Enabling data parallel programming is a key feature of HSAIL, so flexible vector processing, such as variable vector lengths and mixed-precision vector operations, will be involved in the technical discussion of our group. Moreover, some special instructions related to AI applications might also be considered for inclusion in HSAIL. This is an important open problem so far."

- Dr. Jun Han, Professor, Fudan University

System Architecture Working Group
"The establishment of the CRC will drive the HSA standardization process, and the CRC will become an important force in building HSA standards. The CRC System Architecture Working Group will study the necessity and performance advantages of heterogeneous architecture from an overall perspective, and topics brought by heterogeneous architecture on processor design, interconnected bus design, memory system design, low-power design, and testability design, etc. in order to form the heterogeneous architecture design methodology."

- Wanting Tian, Vice President, Sanechips Technology

Compilation & Runtime LIB Working Group
"The compiler and runtime are interrelated components to connect HSA and its working groups, supporting the virtual ISA and operating system interface specification. The compiler and runtime are the main method of user evaluation system and directly determine the developer/user experience with the HSA system."

- Dr. Lei Wang, Technical Director, Huaxia General Processor Technologies

OS & Multivendor Working Group
"We are dedicated to providing operating system support for the CRC and HSA Foundation. The main focus of the OS & Multivendor Working Group will include kernel work on system security and multi process resource sharing as well as coordinating multiple vendors on hardware-OS and application development."

- Dr. Min Gong, Chief Scientist, Beijing Linx Technology.

Interconnect Working Group
"The interconnect network is becoming increasingly important due to the larger number of heterogeneous cores and more advanced fabrication technology. The CRC's Interconnect Working Group will organize experts with a strong background from academic and industry. Our goal is to evaluate interconnect network protocol/standards for many-core heterogeneous systems, which will be efficient, scalable, and can be reused in various systems."

- Dr. Zhiyi Yu, Professor, Sun Yat-sen University

Security & Protection Working Group
"There is no doubt that the security and protection issues have become the foundation of the key technologies of heterogeneous computing for heterogeneous system architectures. The main task of the Security & Protection Working Group is to systematically solve the problem of safe operation and system protection of the HSA, and to develop a corresponding interface strategy and specifications from various aspects of instruction, thread, process, storage, IO, on-chip interconnection, operating system, application, etc. This is to promote and ensure the sustainable development and healthy growth of the new generation of heterogeneous computing chip products and its ecosystem."

- Dr. Songhai Liang, Chief Scientist of SoC Design, Nationz Technologies

Conformance Test Working Group
"CESI plays a role in the CRC to deal with the work of standardization and conformance test. HSA technology has a significant influence on the design of the next generation of SoCs. With the aim of promoting positive developments for the HSA Foundation, it is necessary for relevant parties to make efforts to research and develop relevant technical specifications of HSA and to lead relevant companies to adopt and commercialize the specifications. CESI can provide relevant products with tests and verifications, which are compliant to the standards of the HSA."

- Dawei Chen, Professor & Research Center Director, CESI

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.

Follow the HSA Foundation on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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