A Shot of Java to Send Accelerators Mainstream

By Nicole Hemsoth

September 5, 2013

When it comes to mainstream adoption of the use of GPUs and other accelerators, one of the primary barriers lies in programmability. While the vendor communities around accelerators have pushed to flatten the learning curve, the fact remains that it takes special effort on the part of ordinary developers to undertake the educational process.

The HPC space has proven, at most massive scale, that GPUs and accelerators can lead to significant performance improvements and these are certainly not unattractive to businesses outside of the traditional high performance computing purview. So the question becomes, what might “sweeten the deal” for mainstream developers when it comes to diving into programming for acceleration?

According to one researcher, Max Grossman from Rice University, there is a steep learning curve and it takes some time to get up to speed but there are some notable projects that are pushing the reach. The interview below details some of these challenges—and what’s being done, especially on the OpenCL/Java front by this young researcher and his team—not to mention others who want to bring advanced tools to a higher level.

Grossman says that even though it’s possible to use OpenCL to allow portable execution of SIMD kernels across a number of platforms (from CPUs, manycore GPUs, FPGAs, etc.) using OpenCL from Java to do so is a perilous path—and one that is anything but a simplification. For instance, it will still be necessary to dig in deep to manage data transfers, write kernels in the OpenCL kernel language, and so on.

To tackle these issues, they collaborated on some unique compile and run-time techniques to speed Java-based programs via an automatic generation of OpenCL as the base. As the team describes, the approach, which they call HJ-OpenCL includes: Automatic generation of OpenCL kernels and JNI glue code from a parallel-for construct (forall) available in the Habanero-Java (HJ) language; Leveraging HJ’s array view language construct to efficiently support rectangular, multi-dimensional arrays on OpenCL devices; Implementing HJ’s phaser (next) construct for all-to-all barrier synchronization in automatically generated OpenCL kernels.

As the team summarizes:

“We use a set of ten Java benchmarks to evaluate our approach, and observe performance improvements due to both native OpenCL execution and parallelism. On an AMD APU, our results show speedups of up to 36.7× relative to sequential Java when executing on the host 4-core CPU, and of up to 55.0x on the integrated GPU. For a system with an Intel Xeon CPU and a discrete NVIDIA Fermi GPU, the speedups relative to sequential Java are 35.7× for the 12-core CPU and 324.0× for the GPU. Further, we find that different applications perform optimally in JVM execution, in OpenCL CPU execution, and in OpenCL GPU execution. The language features, compiler extensions, and runtime extensions included in this work enable portability, rapid prototyping, and transparent execution of JVM applications across all OpenCL platforms.”

In addition to these and other approaches, Grossman says there are some simpler things that the vendor community can do to boost experimentation with accelerators, including pushing more hardware out to wider sets of developers.

More on this Rice University group’s work here: http://pppj2013.dhbw.de/conference-pppj2013/program.html

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Nvidia Debuts Turing Architecture, Focusing on Real-Time Ray Tracing

August 16, 2018

From the SIGGRAPH professional graphics conference in Vancouver this week, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang unveiled Turing, the company's next-gen GPU platform that introduces new RT Cores to accelerate ray tracing and new Tenso Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Coding: The Power of L(o)osing Control

August 16, 2018

Exascale roadmaps, exascale projects and exascale lobbyists ask, on-again-off-again, for a fundamental rewrite of major code building blocks. Otherwise, so they claim, codes will not scale up. Naturally, some exascale pr Read more…

By Tobias Weinzierl

STAQ(ing) the Quantum Computing Deck

August 16, 2018

Quantum computers – at least for now – remain noisy. That’s another way of saying unreliable and in diverse ways that often depend on the specific quantum technology used. One idea is to mitigate noisiness and perh Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Introducing the First Integrated System Management Software for HPC Clusters from HPE

How do you manage your complex, growing cluster environments? Answer that big challenge with the new HPC cluster management solution: HPE Performance Cluster Manager. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Super Problem Solving

You might think that tackling the world’s toughest problems is a job only for superheroes, but at special places such as the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, supercomputers are the real heroes. Read more…

NREL ‘Eagle’ Supercomputer to Advance Energy Tech R&D

August 14, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has contracted with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) for a new 8-petaflops (peak) supercomputer that will be used to advance early-stage R&a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

STAQ(ing) the Quantum Computing Deck

August 16, 2018

Quantum computers – at least for now – remain noisy. That’s another way of saying unreliable and in diverse ways that often depend on the specific quantum Read more…

By John Russell

NREL ‘Eagle’ Supercomputer to Advance Energy Tech R&D

August 14, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has contracted with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) for a new 8-petaflops (peak Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CERN Project Sees Orders-of-Magnitude Speedup with AI Approach

August 14, 2018

An award-winning effort at CERN has demonstrated potential to significantly change how the physics based modeling and simulation communities view machine learni Read more…

By Rob Farber

Intel Announces Cooper Lake, Advances AI Strategy

August 9, 2018

Intel's chief datacenter exec Navin Shenoy kicked off the company's Data-Centric Innovation Summit Wednesday, the day-long program devoted to Intel's datacenter Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

SLATE Update: Making Math Libraries Exascale-ready

August 9, 2018

Practically-speaking, achieving exascale computing requires enabling HPC software to effectively use accelerators – mostly GPUs at present – and that remain Read more…

By John Russell

Summertime in Washington: Some Unexpected Advanced Computing News

August 8, 2018

Summertime in Washington DC is known for its heat and humidity. That is why most people get away to either the mountains or the seashore and things slow down. H Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

NSF Invests $15 Million in Quantum STAQ

August 7, 2018

Quantum computing development is in full ascent as global backers aim to transcend the limitations of classical computing by leveraging the magical-seeming prop Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

By the Numbers: Cray Would Like Exascale to Be the Icing on the Cake

August 1, 2018

On its earnings call held for investors yesterday, Cray gave an accounting for its latest quarterly financials, offered future guidance and provided an update o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

SC17 Booth Video Tours Playlist

Altair @ SC17

Altair

AMD @ SC17

AMD

ASRock Rack @ SC17

ASRock Rack

CEJN @ SC17

CEJN

DDN Storage @ SC17

DDN Storage

Huawei @ SC17

Huawei

IBM @ SC17

IBM

IBM Power Systems @ SC17

IBM Power Systems

Intel @ SC17

Intel

Lenovo @ SC17

Lenovo

Mellanox Technologies @ SC17

Mellanox Technologies

Microsoft @ SC17

Microsoft

Penguin Computing @ SC17

Penguin Computing

Pure Storage @ SC17

Pure Storage

Supericro @ SC17

Supericro

Tyan @ SC17

Tyan

Univa @ SC17

Univa

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This