AMD and Oracle will explore the benefits of bringing parallel computing to the Java Virtual Machine.AMD said this week that it is collaborating with Oracle and other members of the OpenJDK community to help bring heterogeneous computing capabilities to Java for server and cloud environments.
AMD made the announcement during the JavaOne 2012 Strategy Keynote, saying that it's now a participant in OpenJDK Project: Sumatra. This project will explore how the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), as well as the Java language and APIs, might be enhanced to allow applications to take advantage of parallel computing, or rather, using both a CPU and discreet graphics card GPU, or the processor and graphics cores found in AMD's APU chips.
"As emerging server and cloud platforms tap into the heterogeneous compute capabilities of APUs and discrete GPUs to achieve enhanced power/performance capabilities, developers are requiring mainstream programming models such as Java to help them harness the advantages of GPU acceleration," AMD said on Monday. "Project: Sumatra may also provide guidance on enabling heterogeneous compute support for other JVM-based languages such as Scala, JRuby and Jython."
Project: Sumatra was launched on September 10 by Oracle's John Coomes who will serve as the project lead – the OpenJDK HotSpot Group will serve as the sponsoring group. John said he has been working on the HotSpot JVM for almost 10 years, mainly on garbage collection where he was one of the primary developers of the parallel compacting garbage collector, the project page states.
"Affirming our plans to contribute to the OpenJDK Project represents the next step towards bringing heterogeneous computing to millions of Java developers and can potentially lead to future developments of new hardware models, as well as server and cloud programming paradigms," said Manju Hegde, corporate vice president, Heterogeneous Applications and Developer Solutions at AMD. "AMD has an established track record of collaboration with open-software development communities from OpenCL to the Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Foundation, and with this initiative we will help further the development of graphics acceleration within the Java community."
The Heterogeneous System Architecture Foundation was launched by AMD at its Fusion Developer Conference in June. Its goal is to allow software to exploit the combined CPU and GPU resources offered by SoCs like AMD's A-Series APUs. Other members of this Foundation include Qualcomm, Samsung, ARM, Imagination Technologies, MediaTek, and Texas Instruments.
“We expect our work with AMD and other OpenJDK participants in Project: Sumatra will eventually help provide Java developers with the ability to quickly leverage GPU acceleration for better performance,” said Georges Saab, vice president, Software Development, Java Platform Group at Oracle. "We hope individuals and other organizations interested in this exciting development will follow AMD's lead by joining us in Project: Sumatra."
AMD said that individuals and organizations interested in this exciting development are welcome to join the OpenJDK community and Project “Sumatra” by visiting openjdk.java.net.
Kevin ParrishKevin Parrish is a contributing editor and writer for Tom's Hardware,Tom's Games and Tom's Guide. He's also a graphic artist, CAD operator and network administrator.
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