Not a wonk idea

Java on the IoT: new MIPS deal dreamed up

Lucy Carey
golden

Oracle announces plans to join forces with Imagination Technologies to bring Java to MIPS chip architecture and tune Java to work with PowerVR graphics.

 

It’s been an IoT-centric week in Oracle news,
with the release of a new

JSR draft
for the Java EE 8 Platform on
Tuesday, followed by yesterday’s

announcement
that the software giant would
be aligning with Imagination Technologies to rev-up Java for
embedded and the Internet of Things.

The semiconductor R&D and IP licensing
company is also the owner of the PowerVP GPU and MIPS
micro-architectures – the latter of which forms the main vessel for
collaboration. MIPS (or to use its full title: Microprocessor
without Interlocked Pipeline Stages, aka the

Pepsi to ARM’s respective Coke
) is a
diminutive chip with a limited instruction set. Due to the
minuteness of MIPS, it’s ideal for the sort of embedded tech
required to bring devices online, such as in trendy wearables and
other buzzy IoT paraphernalia.

Oracle has been
vocal
about its plans for an IoT steeped in
Java, and this latest venture is an ideal way of furthering its
reach into the sector. The JDK and Java SE Embedded have now been
made available for 32-bit and 64-bit MIPS chip architecture, and
the plan is for three different configurations to be made available
for porting and optimizing Java for MIPS for embedded and
server-side applications

Nandini Ramani, VP of Oracle’s IoT
department,

commented
; “The MIPS architecture is widely
used in networking, embedded and other key markets. 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.”

Although blueprints are still being drawn-up,
for now it’s expected that the initial port will be Java SE
Embedded 8 for 32-bit MIPS R2 embedded SoCs. This is tentatively
slated for release in 2015, though there will be an extended early
access program ahead of this. After this, there will be support for
32-bit MIPS R6 in Java SE Embedded 8, as well as a 64-bit MIPS R6
port, which is likely to be a more general-purpose JDK 8 port for
servers and network equipment.

The two parties are also working  to
achieve improved compatibility between Java and Imagination’s Power
VR graphics. Oracle will introduce JavaFX support for the PowerVR
GPU family, initially zoning in on headful embedded
SoCs.

Imagination Technologies will also be joining
the colossal Java community and other like-minded parties in
collaborating with Oracle to help establish Java standards for the
world of interconnected devices. Historically, MIPS has suffered
from fragmentation issues, and this partnership comes as part of
its wider efforts to unify and stabilize its tools across the
board.

 

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