JVM to get a much needed boost?

OpenJDK GPU project Sumatra goes to the vote

After its initial proposal last month, a new OpenJDK project has been created, aiming to establish whether Java applications can harness any extra power from a GPU.

Keeping the Indonesian island theme, Project Sumatra will be led by Hotspot JVM Lead John Coomes, and sponsored by the OpenJDK Hotspot Group given their vested interest in eking out some GPU performance in the standard Oracle JVM.

The initial Committer List for Sumatra includes some core Java developer names including Java architect Brian Goetz, as well as Eric Caspole, David Chase, Gary Frost and John Rose. Initial Authors include Java Language Specification lead Alex Buckley, Tom Deneau, Lee Howes, Mark Nutter and Vasanth Venkatachalam.

Although the main focus is on getting GPU computational power for Java, the remit includes other languages including Nashorn, Scala and JRuby to open it up to all.

Now it falls to OpenJDK members to register their vote on the initiative by Tuesday September 25. With numerous GPU-focused projects shoring up recently and the shift to multicore technology, it seems that this project has arrived at exactly the right time. Any investigation that could potentially push the JVM on is a good thing in our book.

Chris Mayer

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