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GPU acceleration coming to Java, IBM exec reveals

IBM's CTO of Java, John Duimovich has revealed that graphics processing unit (GPU) acceleration is coming to Java.

The development could boost processing speed and performance up to tenfold, particularly when processing a large amount of data, Duimovich said, during his keynote address at the JavaOne conference today.

Following the announcement Nvidia, one of the original developers of GPUs, posted a blog post explaining the significance of the move.

"Java and GPUs open up a world of new opportunities for GPU accelerators and Java programmers alike," wrote Nvidia's Sumit Gupta.

"Millions of developers rely on the Java programming language for web 2.0, big data analytics and scientific computing. It's widely used in large-scale distributed frameworks, like Apache Hadoop, due to its ease of programmability, modularity and multiplatform support."

Duimovich explained that IBM will be enabling IBM runtimes for server-based GPU accelerators and is also set to investigate the use of GPU acceleration in standard workloads under existing application programming interfaces.

"This will allow millions of Java developers to accelerate a broad range of applications using GPU accelerators — and achieve speedups that will dramatically improve the capabilities of the applications," said Gupta.

"Plus, the acceleration will fuel a new generation of Java-based enterprise applications that wouldn't have been possible without GPUs.

"The use cases for GPU-accelerated Java applications are near endless: from high-performance distributed fraud detection and financial analysis, to high-throughput video and image analytics and modern scientific applications," Gupta added.