CHIP DESIGNER AMD has announced its collaboration with Oracle on OpenJDK to provide support for its GPGPUs.
AMD has been trying to get developers to use OpenCL in order to drive use of its accelerated processing units (APUs), however porting code to a new language is a lengthy process that many developers are simply not willing to do despite the performance benefits. Now AMD has announced that it will work with Oracle to let Java developers make use of its GPGPUs through the OpenJDK Java distribution.
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.
Margaret Lewis, director of software at AMD's server business told The INQUIRER, "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. [...] 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."
The fact 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 idea is that better GPGPU support in the JVM will help AMD when it finally has Opteron APUs. µ