JavaOne: AMD cites Java improvement efforts

AMD touts its efforts to make Java work better

Emphasizing the company's commitment to the Java platform, AMD detailed this week how it is building technologies to make Java work better.

The company promoted its Java support at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco during a keynote presentation. AMD is working on improvements in compilers, operating systems, middleware and development tools as well as Java Virtual Machine improvements. AMD is finding ways to improve Java performance across multi-core environments and has been researching improvements in garbage collection, according to AMD. Garbage collection involves the discarding of objects from memory after they are no longer needed or referenced.

"AMD understands that good software is critical to our product roadmap," said Leendert van Doorn, a senior AMD fellow. Without software, silicon just conducts energy, he said.

Multi-threaded programming "is inherently easier to do in Java," because of Java's built-in support for concurrent programming, van Doorn said.

But there are hurdles to overcome in application performance, said van Doorn. "This is an issue we're working on to help address," he said.

AMD has proposed its Light-Weight Profiling software parallelism specification to help managed code like Java run more efficiently by using continuous performance feedback. Also, AMD's Advanced Synchronization Facility proposal increases software concurrency.

The next big platform involves integrating the graphics processing unit and the CPU, van Doorn said. "Our vision is to fully integrate these functions into one robust unit," he said.

Also at JavaOne on Wednesday, Sun announced a technology preview of its open-source GlassFish Enterprise Server version 3 application server and the new GlassFish Communications Server.

Version 3 focuses on Web 2.0-style application development and a modular architecture that can be used with specific versions of Java technology optimized for developers' specific applications. An update center will notify users about component updates.

Sun also introduced GlassFish Unlimited Pricing, enabling enterprises to purchase rights to use the server for a flat fee based on the user site's number of employees.

GlassFish Communications Server is based on Project SailFin, a project to build a SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) communication server. Developers will gain access to telecommunications technologies to develop instant messaging, VoIP, and shared multimedia applications on the Web. Ericsson is partnering in the project. GlassFish Communications Server is scheduled to be available by the third quarter of this year or later.

Sun also is creating the GlassFish Enterprise Service Bus community to help enable development of global services using Java Business Integration technologies. Additionally, Sun, the OpenPortal community and Liferay are working on a common Web presentation platform incorporating portal and integration technologies. The goal is to give developers a Web-based presentation platform.

Products resulting from the initiative with Liferay will give developers lightweight presentation capabilities for GlassFish, Sun said. Sun also is announcing a preview release of a lightweight platform for simplifying Web site development and building collaborative work spaces.

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