Valve Software & HSA Foundation Join The Linux Foundation
Valve joining up is no surprise, as the publisher will be launching its own Linux-based SteamOS in 2014. The operating system will be available as a free download, and will also ship on several expected Steam Machine computers from the likes of iBuyPower and Xi3. The OS will essentially be a fleshed-out version of Steam, allowing PC gamers the world over to access a growing library of games via a free operating system.
“Joining the Linux Foundation is one of many ways Valve is investing in the advancement of Linux gaming. Through these efforts, we hope to contribute tools for developers building new experiences on Linux, compel hardware manufacturers to prioritize support for Linux, and ultimately deliver an elegant and open platform for Linux users.”
The other big gun to join The Linux Foundation? The parallel computing consortium known as the Heterogeneous Architecture (HSA) Foundation. The nonprofit group, comprised of silicon big-wigs like AMD, Qualcomm, Samsung, and ARM, is a foundation dedicated to, “…redefining how the system architecture can integrate CPUs, GPUs, DSPs, and accelerators to dramatically ease programming on heterogeneous parallel devices.” In more approachable (and perhaps overreaching) terms: The HSA Foundation wants to combine all the different components found in your typical computer, reducing hardware like the CPU and graphics processor to the smallest, most easy to use silicon/die possible. AMD is leading the way in this regard, thanks to its APU efforts.
One of the more critical points of the forthcoming Steam Machine revolution has been price. iBuyPower’s machine (linked above) is at the low end ($500), but the costs need to come down even more if these PCs are to compete with traditional consoles. HSA and the companies behind it are gunning for that exact goal.