Firstly this is a pretty far fetched rumor BUT interesting non the less because of what appears to be a tie in to a "Drawbridge" like technology!
As a recap, there are a few that believe MS/AMD/IBM are building a system that goes beyond the GCN 1.0 that we see today. They believe it will be a true "Heterogeneous Systems Architecture" with unified memory, efficient scheduling, QoS guarantees and a programming model that can compile to multiple ISAs (i.e. WinRT).
In these discussions there is talk of the evolution of an APU into something called an APD (Accellerated Processing Device), and this APD is pretty much a supercharged futuristic GPU(GPU+CPU's + other pieces supporting it) ..
Basically AMD/ATI have a bunch of patents recently released (2011/2012) that they believe look like the architecture for XBox Next and its family of future devices, and all revolving around this new futuristic APD..
Anyway one of the cited patents shows how these futuristic APU's (APD) fixes one of the biggest problems with todays GPU's, a way for accessiblity of its resources in a virtualized way..
And when i saw this it reminded me of the Drawbridge work of elevating lots of the api's from kernel into usermode
Pic from the patent "Accessibilityofgraphics processing compute resources" :
"....it is possible to avoid kernel mode transitions beyond initialization of an application."
"Each user mode application includes a runtime 502, allowing establishment and connection of resources with the application. Instead of channeling commands through DXGKRNL 504 (which is the Microsoft Windows DirectX graphics kernel subsystem, representative of legacy graphics-oriented kernel mode driver interfaces to the APD), through the examples illustrated above, system stack 500 introduces an IOMMUv2 driver 506, which permits allocation of memory and command queues for applications ..."
Past Microsoft video of drawbridge , and an explanation of its goals:
Anyway there are some very juicy, though far fetching , rumors going around out there around IBM/AMD/Microsoft and their collaboration for XBoxNext + family of devices.. I know most of the HW related rumors probably don't interest most here BUT the software/OS/api side, like above, im guessing do..
3 days till Xbox Next reveal
Awesome find. But, what does it means for consumers or developers? Faster games and easier to develop?
I've been following the HSA initiative very closely, rumor is that MS will announce that it's the last missing piece in that diagram RUMOR
HSA has all the hallmarks of WinRT, it's almost as if MS dictated to the HSA foundation "this is how the OS/API/Framework should look in this heterogenous future of ours" , as they were building out WinRT
BUT its too early to know the impact on devs as the true HSA hardware is only just arriving now we believe.. Time will tell if it makes things easier, though technically it should! (judging with how easy it is to write WinRT code that targets different ISA's)
BTW this following diagram nicely describes HSA, and for those that know a thing or two about WinRT, you'll notice the uncanny resemblance to those blue square diagrams from \\Build\
Looking at the HSA stuff, I have to wonder if Microsoft were really interested in it why wouldn't they be listed as a sponsor/supporter of some kind, given how many there are?
I just love a good bit of conspiracy/mystery/rumour!
@contextfree`: For a period of time they were, lots of news sites reported them as a member. They were even listed on the HSA site (as seen below in the archive)
then suddenly they were removed from that list (some believe they wanted to remain silent so they could make the announcement at a later planned time)
Anyway this is all rumors , hopefully in the time between XBoxReveal, E3 and \\BUILD\ MS come out publicly and say there a founding member (that last unannounced hexagon)
What better way then on Tuesday, AMD/IBM and MS all on stage together and announce such things as MS's participation in HSA..
Possibly also in HMC (that's a whole other set of rumors)..
2 days to go!
Thanks for the link. Very interesting (less so, the future product conjecture, but the problem space is vibrant and innovation is clearly happening. Great to know!).
HSA is super interesting, but fail to see Drawbridge in the picture.
@felix9: you don't see how the api's are being elevated into UserMode as something similar to what Drawbridge is doing ?
@LiquidBoy: yeah but having some specific tech details in common doesn't mean they are similiar as a whole, moving components between user-mode and kernel-mode is a widely used design twist, can be used for lots of various purposes, its just a design choice.
I don't see how the HSA Foundation or any Drawbridge-esque os stack would fit into an xbox.vnext release.
For the HSA, most of these technologies would be really useful for pushing the envelope under constrained power. The only reason I could see a low power requirement for xbox is to make it fanless or just quiet.
As for Drawbridge, I don't see people clamoring for backwards compatibility. Emulation stinks, it's a lot of work, and after a few months nobody cares.
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