Oracle announces plans for Java on MIPS

Today at the Imagination Summit in Santa Clara, California, Oracle and Imagination Technologies announced a collaboration around Java and the Internet of Things (IoT). Imagination is an semiconductor R&D and IP licensing company, and the owner of the PowerVR GPU and MIPS micro-architectures. This collaboration between Oracle and Imagination Technologies includes:

  • Porting and optimizing Java for MIPS for embedded and server-side applications. The current plan is to provide three different configurations:
    • The initial port will be Java SE Embedded 8 for 32-bit MIPS R2 embedded SoCs. This is still in planning but is expected some time in the first half of CY2015 (subject to change etc). This will be preceded by an extended early access program.
    • Java SE Embedded 8 will later add support for 32-bit MIPS R6.
    • Finally, we are also planning for a 64-bit MIPS R6 port. This will more likely be a general-purpose Oracle JDK 8 port aimed at servers and network equipment.
  • JavaFX support for the PowerVR GPU family. The initial target for this work will be headful embedded SoCs.
  • Collaboration around Java standards for the Internet of Things. Imagination Technologies will join the Java community and work with Oracle and other community members in this area.

MIPS has historically been somewhat fragmented in terms of multiple partially incompatible implementations, and lack of a unified source for development tools and OS support. Imagination is taking steps to address this issue with its SoC partners through the recently announced prpl open source foundation, which will work to unify and stabilize support for Linux, virtualization, open source tools and related things. Oracle is strongly supportive of this initiative.

Imagination is the latest of a large set of companies and organizations that have joined the Java ecosystem, or expanded its activity, since the Oracle acquisition of Java from Sun Microsystems in 2010. Oracle is very pleased to welcome Imagination Technologies and the MIPS ecosystem into the Java family, and is looking forward to extending this collaboration to the broader MIPS ecosystem!


It's nice to hear that Oracle is planning on porting the JDK to more platforms. For some time, it looked to me like Oracle was content to let others (Red Hat, IBM, SAP) to do all the work.

To do serious work with Java, you really need a full-fledged VM with JIT. Everything else is just too slow.

Posted by guest on May 22, 2014 at 11:24 PM PDT #

Nice. Will this be worked on in OpenJDK? Will it integrate the IcedTea MIPS port?

Posted by guest on May 23, 2014 at 06:54 AM PDT #

Guest 1 - Since Oracle acquired Sun we have made our JDK available on Mac OS X and two different combinations of 32-bit ARM (soft float and hard float). We have also announced and are working on a 64-bit ARM port. I don't know where you got the impression that we leave this to others, but I'm happy to say that that is not true. Agree on the need for a full-fledged JVM with JIT, but also serviceability, quality and code maintainability. This is an area that takes a lot of investment. Unfortunately, many OpenJDK porting projects over the years have not been adequately funded by their sponsors.

Guest 2 - No, the MIPS port will not be done in OpenJDK. We do our work for general purpose desktop/server hardware in OpenJDK, but not the work for the Java embedded platforms.

Posted by guest on May 23, 2014 at 11:02 AM PDT #

Is this 64-bit ARM port different from the OpenJDK port done by Red Hat?

Posted by guest on May 23, 2014 at 01:26 PM PDT #

Guest 3 - Yes. As we have previously announced at JavaOne, ARM TechCon 2013, on this blog and in other forums: our 64-bit ARM port is closed source. The background here is simple: We fund Java development by licensing Java on embedded devices, and by selling support for our general-purpose runtime. Our 64-bit ARM port is based on our embedded port, which we are not open sourcing, so it won't be open source. This is not an ideal situation, but it is ameliorated by the fact that our 32 and 64-bit Oracle JDK binaries will be available under a royalty-free Oracle Binary Code License (the same one that we use for our JDK on x86 and SPARC). So the net effect is free-as-in-beer (for general purpose hardware) but in this particular case not free-as-in-liberty. If general purpose ARM takes off we may move to a support monetization model for our ARM binaries, which would allow us to open source our work.

By the way, it is easier for me to provide a targeted response if you use an alias other than "guest" in the comments.

Cheers -- Henrik

Posted by guest on May 23, 2014 at 01:37 PM PDT #

I've got to admit that I'm only interested in free software ports for non-embedded systems. If it can't be shipped in a distribution like Debian, it's not interesting to me.

Is it already decided if the "64-bit MIPS R6 port" will be open source?

Posted by guest1 on May 24, 2014 at 08:59 AM PDT #

guest1 - (thanks for not using generic "guest") We do not currently plan to open source our MIPS ports.

Posted by Henrik on May 28, 2014 at 11:39 AM PDT #

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Henrik Stahl is VP of Product Management in the Java Platform Group at Oracle, and is responsible for product strategy for Java ME and SE.


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