Chipmaker AMD has announced its collaboration with Oracle on the Open Java Development Kit (OpenJDK) - the free and open source implementation of the Java programming language - to provide support for its general processing on GPU (GPGPU) hardware.
AMD has been trying to get developers to use the Open Computing Language (OpenCL) framework to spur use of its accelerated processing units (APUs). But porting code to a new language is a lengthy process that many developers are simply not willing to undertake, despite the performance benefits.
Now, AMD has announced that it will work with Oracle to let Java developers make use of its GPGPUs through OpenJDK Java.
AMD calls its collaboration with Oracle Project Sumatra and said the collaboration will look at the viability of the JVM and Java APIs in offloading code execution to the GPU.
"We're very excited and looking forward to this collaboration with Oracle and the work with the OpenJDK community. We feel this is the way to take the powerful processing capability of the GPU and put it into the hands of a broad base of developers," Margaret Lewis, director of software at AMD's server business told V3.
"There's obviously a level of difficulty [in using OpenCL with Java] that didn't appeal to the main base of developers and so this for us is very exciting because that type of enablement means the hardware will have great utility with developers being able to do the things they are familiar and used to doing."
That Lewis is the head of AMD's server software unit should provide some insight into where AMD is going with its work in OpenJDK. While AMD and Oracle are still only starting off, the companies hope that better GPGPU support in the JVM will help AMD when it finally has Opteron APUs and improve the performance of highly-parallel processing operations.
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