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JavaOne: Intel Keynote

05.08.2008
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It is day three of the JavaOne conference and the first session of the day sees Doug Fisher (VP) deliver Intel’s keynote. He begins by highlighting the fact that Intel is using what they call a “tick-tock” schedule for delivering new processors on a yearly basis. With each “tick” they shrink the current architecture and deliver better energy efficiency and performance by putting many more transistors on each chip. The following year with the

“tock” they deliver new micro architectures, advances in instruction sets and improved performance capabilities by taking advantage of all the extra transistors they added the previous year. Find out more at http://www.intel.com/technology/tick-tock/index.htm

As with AMD yesterday, the theme from the manufacturer was that their hardware is unlocked by the developers software and Intel employs thousands of people to ensure all layers of the software stack can take advantage of the optimizations and features that are built in to Intel chips.

Since Sun and Intel began working closely together in January of 2007 there have been some pretty impressive results delivered in terms of JVM performance when run on Intel hardware. When comparing benchmarks from the JVM of January 2007 to the JVM at the time of JavaOne 2007, the team demonstrated a 20% performance increase. On stage today, comparing the JVM of January 2007 and the soon-to-be-released high performance JVM the team demonstrated a huge 68% performance increase. It’s important to understand here that these gains were entirely realized through software improvements to the JVM – the comparisons were made using identical hardware platforms and the same application running in the JVM.

There is now open competition between JVM producers through the SpecJBB benchmark for evaluating server side Java and Sun just took the lead in this race again, but IBM and BEA are pushing hard. Fisher quipped: “there is nothing better than people competing on Intel hardware”.

Fisher quipped: “there is nothing better than people competing on Intel hardware”.

So far the talk had focused on things happening at the processing power end of the spectrum but at the milliwatt or mobile end there also a lot going on. Attendees were shown a video in which Intel introduced the moblin.org open source project, a place where they want developers to create and share ideas, projects and software that will run on Mobile Internet Devices (MID’s).I’m sure by now you have realized that at the heart of the Mobile Internet Device is an Intel processor: It is called the Atom processor and really is tiny, about the size of a US penny. The first of these devices are supposed to be available this summer and if you want to find out more, take a look at http://www.moblin.org

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Philip Cornthwaite.

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