With Java 9, support for parallel execution on HSA-compatible processors will be native, Rogers said in an interview following the presentation. A data-parallel API called APARAPI already allows Java developers to use the compute power of GPU and CPUs, but code-enablement will get easier in Java 8 and then 9.
Java is widely used in cloud deployments and big data applications. Hardware acceleration of those tasks in a virtualized environment without the extra layers of code could be more efficient, Rogers said.
HSA has already released some specifications to unify memory and lower the overhead required in dispatching jobs to hardware for execution. The HSA has introduced a new uniform memory architecture called HUMA that makes different memory types in a system accessible to all processors. Developers have access to a larger pool of shared memory in which code could be executed.
HSA Foundation members do not include Intel and Nvidia, who offer their own parallel programming tools. But the foundation's goals are loosely tied to AMD's chip strategy in which the company integrates third-party intellectual property so chips can be customized to customer needs. For example, AMD is making a customized chip for Sony's upcoming PlayStation 4 gaming console. Sony is also a member of HSA Foundation.
AMD is also expected to release next year laptop and desktop processors code-named Kaveri in which CPUs and graphics processors will be able to share memory.