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[Register] AMD, Oracle tag-team on GPU acceleration for Java apps

post #1 of 27
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SOURCE

Quote:

There are a number of different ways that Java applications and the Java virtual machine can be tweaked to exploit the parallelism inherent in GPU coprocessors.

 

And as part of new Project Sumatra, announced today at the JavaOne community event hosted by Oracle in San Francisco, Larry & Company is teaming up with AMD to put the software functionality to offload inside of the Java Virtual Machine itself rather than using a two-step conversion and dispatch process that AMD has worked on until now with its own Project Aparapi.

 

Gary Frost, the technical lead at AMD for Project Aparapi, explained to El Reg in early 2010 that the company wanted to make it easier for Java applications to take advantage of the enormous calculation capabilities of GPUs without having to become OpenCL programmers themselves.

 

You program in Java to get away from all that hardware, so it kind of defeats the purpose. Project Aparapi put hints to where data parallelism exist in the applications, and then took Java bytecodes and converted them at runtime to OpenCL routines so they could automatically be dispatched to an AMD or Nvidia GPU that was speaking OpenCL.

 

With Project Sumatra, Oracle and AMD want to do away with having an external library and conversion process between Java and OpenCL, Frost tells El Reg. Instead, the idea is to take advantage of the data structures within the OpenJDK implementation of the Java tools and let the Java virtual machine generate and compile the OpenCL code itself based on hints in the code.

It looks like even existing Java applications will not need to be re-coded to take advantage of the GPU. The Java engine will know what particular code can be offloaded onto the GPU.

 

This is a first step towards HSA. So far it is a more optimized approach at offloading but if this could evolve into full integration of code, this could be HUGE.

post #2 of 27
Looks like Runescape is getting a graphics boost, lol.
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post #3 of 27
Looks like Minecraft will get a performance boost. Anyways this is great! Currently I enjoy programming in Java (even though I'm still just a beginner) and know the usefulness of the runtime environment. Most of the software I use at work is based on Java so it's nice to see that I'll be able to get more performance out of it in the near future.
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Homeles View Post

Looks like Runescape is getting a graphics boost, lol.

doesn't runescape already utilize discreet gpus?
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by hollowtek View Post

doesn't runescape already utilize discreet gpus?
It sure does, this just means you don't have to make OpenCL calls to utilize the GPU. The Java VM and compiler will do all this for you, which is pretty darn awesome as learning how to use external libraries efficiently takes isn't exactly trivial.
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post #6 of 27

Nice.

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post #7 of 27
So does this mean that my cheapo AMD APU netbook will see boost in java applications?smile.gif
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post #8 of 27

^Yuppers!

This boost will really help on mods such as Sonic Ether's Unbelievable Shaders in Minecraft, because even with my rig I can only get 25FPS which is saddening :'(

I'm really liking AMD's path now. They've realized that the desktop computing platform isn't for them and they're making a turnaround for the better.

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post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andr3az View Post

So does this mean that my cheapo AMD APU netbook will see boost in java applications?smile.gif

yep
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post #10 of 27
As a Java developer on a huge project which could greatly benefit from taking advantage of something like this on some of its massively parallelizable algorithms, this get the thumbs up from me.

That said,
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Register 
[T]he idea is to take advantage of the data structures within the OpenJDK implementation of the Java tools and let the Java virtual machine generate and compile the OpenCL code itself based on hints in the code.
Sounds like some sort of @parallel javadoc that will be scanned and utilized by the compiler. This will require a little bit of work by the developer, and some source recompilation. Though not nearly as much work that would have been involved in implementing the current OpenCL implementations.
    
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