Oracle To Collaborate with Imagination Technologies on Java and the Internet of Things

Oracle has staked out more ground in the rapidly expanding territory known as the Internet of Things (IoT), announcing at last week's Imagination Summit in Santa Clara, Calif, a new collaboration with Imagination Technologies around Java in IoT.

U.K.-based Imagination Technologies is a semiconductor R&D and silicon intellectual property licensing company best known as the provider of the PowerVR mobile graphics processor line, but also for its MIPS embedded microprocessors. MIPS is the processor architecture in reduced instruction set computer (RISC) chips. Oracle plans to work with Imagination to optimize Java for MIPS for embedded server-side applications.

"The MIPS architecture is widely used in networking, embedded and other key markets," said Nandini Ramani, vice president of Oracle Java and Internet of Things group, in a statement. "We are excited to see the differentiated feature set that Imagination has laid out in its roadmap for MIPS, and we are seeing increasing demand for optimized Java support for MIPS."

According to Henrik Stahl, vice president of product management in Oracle's Platform Group, the two companies are looking at three different configurations, starting with an initial port of Java SE Embedded 8 for 32-bit MIPS R2 embedded Systems on Chips (SoCs), some time in the first half of next year. In his blog post on this collaboration, Stahl said that his company plans to launch an extended early access program before that release. Following that initial port, the companies will add support for 32-bit MIPS R6, Stahl said, after which they will add a 64-bit MIPS R6 port. Stahl said the last configuration is more likely to be a general-purpose Oracle JDK 8 port aimed at servers and network equipment.

Embedded Java comes in two flavors: Java ME Embedded and Java SE Embedded, plus the Java Embedded Suite, which includes Java SE, Java Database, GlassFish for Embedded, and the Jersey Web Services Framework. Java SE Embedded is a slimmed-down subset of standard desktop Java for "headless" embedded devices: no GUIs to suck up memory. Because Java SE Embedded and Java SE have API compatibility, Java jocks can use their existing skills in embedded application development. This is one of the keystones of Oracle's IoT strategy.

Oracle has claimed a "pervasive" presence in the embedded space, with 5 billion SIMs and Smart Cards, 3 billion mobile handsets, 80 billion "television devices," not to mention printers, bank machines, and ebook readers, all using Java technology.

"Java has become one of the de facto standards for many applications where our customers are creating some of the most exciting next-generation products," commented Krishna Yarlagadda, president, Imagination, North America, in a prepared statement.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].