AMD demos HSA for the server room with Java on top

AMD logoIn San Francisco today, AMD demonstrated a new Opteron X Series processor, codenamed Berlin, that brings AMD's APU concept and HSA technology into the server room.

For some years, AMD has been promoting its heterogeneous system architecture (HSA), which enables CPUs, GPUs, and other coprocessors to share data and cooperate more easily. The company released Kaveri, its first desktop APUs ("accelerated processing units"—CPUs with integrated GPUs) that support HSA earlier this year.

Berlin is the server counterpart, wedding AMD's Steamroller x86 CPU cores to its Graphics Core Next 1.1 R-series GPU cores.

Since HSA's inception, AMD has promoted the use of OpenGL and OpenCL for developing software that uses both the CPU and GPU for computation. OpenGL and OpenCL aren't exactly typical server technologies, however, so for servers, AMD demonstrated another technology: Project Sumatra.

Project Sumatra is a project to update the Java virtual machine to enable it to support GPU-based computations on HSA systems. It started in 2012 as a joint effort between AMD and Oracle. With Sumatra, code using Java 8's new parallel stream processing functions can be converted to automatically run on the GPU. Developers don't need to write any code specific to the GPU.

Sumatra currently only supports Linux systems. AMD's demo used Fedora, which is perhaps unsurprising given that the demo was at Red Hat's annual summit. AMD plans to ship Berlin processors within the first half of this year.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: AMD, CPUs, Opteron, servers

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