Some three years ago I wrote a blog titled ‘Missing Half Your Brain?’ arguing that our processors work similar to the brain which consists of two halves or hemispheres – left (logic) and right (creativity).
Since then, AMD has taken huge strides in making our APUs integrate the best of both worlds, CPU and GPU. In spring of this year, AMD talked about hUMA (heterogeneous Uniform Memory Architecture), a technology that is a part of HSA (Heterogeneous Systems Architecture), that defines how the GPU inside the APU accesses the memory. Today we are announcing another technology, also part of HSA, that further elevates the GPU to its rightful place inside the APU. That technology is called heterogeneous Queueing, or hQ.
hQ transforms the current processor ‘master slave’ architecture of the APU and turns it into ‘all processor equal’ type of design. Instead of being spoon-fed by the CPU, the GPU can spawn its own work items by placing tasks onto either the GPU or CPU queue to be dispatched immediately via low-latency user mode queuing.
Reducing latency when performing work on the GPU, reducing software layers, more efficiently utilizing GPU opens up many more opportunities to accelerate application performance, reduce power consumption and improve portability. However, another major benefit of doing this allows use of the languages that programmers already use every day. Now that the GPU has the flexibility to create and dispatch its own work items, programming models become equivalent to familiar models available for the CPU. This in turn will enable greater number of apps to be able to take advantage of GPU compute performance. Removing the software layers that are vendor specific will allow the slogan ‘write once, use everywhere’ to finally come to life.
Just a couple of days ago I read an article talking about Einstein’s brain having better connected hemispheres was the likely reason for his brilliance. The funny part is that our heterogeneous Queuing technology does exactly that: removes bottlenecks and significantly improves internal connectivity between CPU (left) and GPU (right) side inside the APU (brain).
Seems like solutions to the problems we have are often found in the nature. Similarities between processors and brain are too obvious for us not to take note.
Sasa Marinkovic is Sr. Manager, Technology Marketing at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.