ARM RCT Reduces Java Memory Footprint in Mobile Devices

Chip designer ARM has unveiled a new version of its Java acceleration technology designed to reduce application memory footprint and increase the speed and overall performance for mobile handsets running Java applications.

ARM's new Jazelle Runtime Compiler Target (RCT) is an architecture extension for optimizing runtime and ahead-of-time compiler technologies—such as just in time and dynamic adaptive compilation.

"Using this technology, you can get a far higher performance Java platform," Chris Porthouse, production manager for executive environments at ARM, tells AppTrends. "Developers don't need to focus so much on generating very small code, as they do today, but they can focus instead on generating much more optimized—in other words, faster—code."

The Jazelle RCT architecture extensions reduce the code memory footprint by up to three times, Porthouse says, which results in a reduction in memory accesses, which increases device battery life. Jazelle RCT complements ARM’s widely used hardware acceleration technology, Jazelle Direct Bytecode eXecution, and will be deployed in the ARM Cortex-A Series of applications processors for complex OS and user applications.

Porthouse says ARM is responding with this release to two market drivers pushing for increased Java performances on mobile devices: the network operators and developers, who require extremely compelling content that will generate revenue; and the handset and device manufacturers, who need to get to market quicker.

"For the first group, using Java and languages like it make it very, very easy to deploy downloadable applications and new services," Porthouse says. "For the second group, Java is very portable, and you have four-and-a-half million developers out there providing a huge amount of resources to tap into. Companies like Sony Ericsson and Nokia Siemens can deploy an application written in Java and roll it out across a wide portfolio of products extremely quickly."

Although Jazelle RCT technology will initially be used on Java platforms, Porthouse says, it is designed to be equally beneficial to similar technologies—most notably Microsoft .NET Compact Framework. "We're working with the leading software companies to make sure that they can deploy solutions and software well ahead of silicon becoming available," he says. "This technology allows device manufacturers to get their devices out to market very quickly."

ARM made the Jazelle RCT announcement at this week's JavaOne show in San Francisco. As Java turned 10 this year, the ARM architecture reached its second decade. Just over 20 years ago, a small group of engineers gathered in a converted barn to develop a new 32-bit RISC processor architecture. The company that resulted from that gathering is now considered a leading RISC architecture for advanced consumer electronics. Today, the company’s product offerings include 16/32-bit RISC microprocessors, data engines, 3D processors, digital libraries, embedded memories, peripherals, software and development tools, as well as analog functions and high-speed connectivity products. For more information, go to:

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at [email protected].