AMD, ARM Join together to Fight IntelAMD and ARM are tired of Intel being the largest chip manufacturer. The two companies have banded together to fight the near-monopoly that Intel has in some microprocessor fields, forming the HSA Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting a Heterogenous System Architecture.
Which basically means creating a chip where every element can do every type of data processing, rather than the current technique of creating specialized modules for each task. ARM and AMD want to use parallel computing to fight Intel's mastery of Moore's Law.
What does HSA computing mean to you? It means using existing hardware to achieve better results. Rather than do graphical processing on a graphics card, physics simulation on its own discrete chip, and more general data crunching on the CPU, each of those other cards can help each other out.
This is already possible to a degree with a programming language called OpenCL, which can do calculations on the GPU, but an HSA architecture would take the custom coding out of the equation. It would handle the division of the calculation automatically, unless specified elsewise.
AMD has long been the underdog in the desktop microprocessor race, creating new generations of chips on a leaner budget than Intel and with a smaller user base. Despite a brief window in which AMD managed to produce faster, cheaper and more energy efficient chips, Intel's deeper pockets and technical patents have kept them ahead. The situation has recently gotten worse for AMD with the success Intel has had with ultrabooks, which by definition run Intel hardware.
ARM, meanwhile, is the new darling of the tech world. ARM has managed to spin its CPU-design business from powering just small embedded devices to running the hottest phones out there. The Tegra line of processors? Based on ARM. The A5 that Apple has? Based on the ARM architecture. But ARM is still a small company and Intel has been heavily investing into mobile chip design. So far they have had little success, but deep pockets practically guarantee them a spot at the table.
Both AMD and ARM need something novel to compete with Intel. And they are hoping that it is the HSA Foundation.
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