Thursday May 22, 2014

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!

Thursday Oct 31, 2013

ARM TechCon 2013: Oracle, ARM expand collaboration on servers, Internet of Things

If you have been following Java news, you are already aware of the fact that there has been a lot of investment in Java for ARM-based devices and servers over the last couple of years (news, more news, even more, and lots more). We have released Java ME Embedded binaries for ARM Cortex-M micro controllers, Java SE Embedded for ARM application processors, and a port of the Oracle JDK for ARM-based servers. We have been making Java available to the Beagleboard, Raspberry Pi and Lego Mindstorms/LeJOS communities and worked with them and the Java User Groups to evangelize Java as a great development environment for IoT devices. We have announced commercial relationships with Freescale, Qualcomm, Gemalto M2M, SIMCom to name a few. ARM and Freescale on their side have joined the JCP, recently been voted in as members of the Executive Committee, and have worked with Oracle to evangelize Java in their ecosystem.

It is with this background, Nandini Ramani, Vice President, Java Platform at Oracle, announced a expanded collaboration with ARM in a TechCon 2013 keynote titled "Enabling Compelling Services for IoT". To summarize the announcement:

  • ARM and Oracle will work together on interoperability between the ARM Sensinode communications stack (based on CoAP, DTLS and 6LoWPAN) and Oracle's Java ME, Java SE and middleware products.
  • ARM will donate the Sensinode CoAP protocol engine to OpenJDK to stimulate broad adoption of the CoAP protocol, and work with Oracle to extend the relevant Java specifications with CoAP support. CoAP (Constrained Application Protocol) is an IETF specification that provides a low-bandwidth request/response protocol suitable for IoT applications.
  • ARM will work with Oracle and Freescale to enable the mbed Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) to act as a portability layer for Java ME Embedded. Oracle will enable mbed as a tier one platform for Java ME Embedded. Over time, this effort will allow any mbed-enabled platforms (mostly based on Cortex-M microcontrollers) to work with off the shelf Java ME Embedded binaries, extending the reach of Java ME into IoT edge nodes.
  • In Nandini's keynote, Oracle showed a roadmap to port the Oracle JDK for Linux on 64-bit ARMv8 servers in the 2015 time frame, preceded by an extended early access program. We expect this binary to have full feature parity with Oracle JDK on other platforms, and be available under the same royalty-free license. This effort has been going on for some time, but is now accelerated due to availability of hardware from Applied Micro. Oracle will be working with Applied Micro on the ARMv8 port, and on optimizing Java for their X-Gene products.
  • Oracle and ARM will work closely on IoT architecture, and on evangelizing Java on ARM for both servers and IoT devices.

These announcements reinforce Java's position as a first-class citizen in the ARM ecosystem, and signal a commitment from us to collaborate on driving standards and open ecosystem for the Internet of Things. If you are active in this area and not already in touch with us, or interested in learning more - please reach out to us!


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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