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ARM and Oracle agree long-term Java support deal for current and future platforms

ARM and Oracle this week announced a multi-year agreement to continue optimising Java Standard Edition (SE) for ARM's current 32-bit platforms and for future ARMv8 64-bit platforms, the two companies said.

The agreement "will focus on delivering throughput and efficient scalability for ARM-based multi-core systems" with an emphasis on "increasing applicability of the combination of ARM and Oracle technology in server and network infrastructure," ARM said in a statement.

"Oracle's Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is a critical component for high-throughput Java applications used in enterprise servers and embedded systems and helps to increase the performance of ARM-based multi-core systems. Additional areas for cooperation include improving boot-up performance, power savings and library optimization — all of which are essential for designs used in the enterprise and embedded markets," ARM continued.

ARM also tipped continued Java support as beneficial to its offerings in the industrial and manufacturing sectors, where the chip design firm is pushing low-power ARM-based processors running Java-dependent applications, "machine-to-machine" systems in industrial control, factory automation, and single-board computers, the company said.

Last October, ARM introduced its first 64-bit processor designs, the next-generation 64-bit v8 architecture-based Cortex A57 and Cortex A53, as an instrumental step in its push to compete with the x86-based chips that currently dominate the server market.

Pushing ARM to a 64-bit architecture like the one used in Intel's Xeon and AMD's Opteron server chips means those x86 processors won't have the advantage of wider single integer registers that can store more data in virtual memory than their ARM counterparts. Computers with the new ARM chips would have access to those same memory advantages and could run 64-bit operating systems and applications.

Applied Micro Circuits' low-power X-Gene processor was the first demonstration chip to emerge based on the ARM 64-bit v8 architecture. The X-Gene has multiple 3GHz cores and also supports 32-bit. A good number of other companies have also signed up to make processors based on the new ARM 64-bit architecture, most notably Advanced Micro Devices, Samsung, ST-Microelectronics, Marvell, and Calxeda.

AMD has said its future ARM-based 64-bit processors will be targeted across the "data center compute landscape," while ST-Microelectronics suggested "networking and datacenter" applications for its future products.

"The long-standing relationship between ARM and Oracle has enabled our mutual technologies to be deployed across a broad spectrum of products and applications," Henrik Stahl, vice president of Java Product Management for Oracle, said in a statement. "By working closely with ARM to enhance the JVM, adding support for 64-bit ARM technology and optimizing other aspects of the Java SE product for the ARM architecture, enterprise and embedded customers can reap the benefits of high-performance, energy-efficient platforms based on ARM technology."