Intel is foraging among small start-ups in a bid to answer criticisms of Java performance on its platforms.
In a drive to optimise performance on Pentium chips, Intel plans to invest in specialist Java start-ups, on condition they pledge that their server-side applications will run equally well on Intel platforms as on Sparc.
Users have repeatedly criticised the Intel Pentium's handling of Sun's Java technology, claiming it offers inferior management of the floating point unit and slows the operating system down, compared to Sun's own Sparc architecture.
In the pipeline are agreements with Java application vendor Web Logic, tools company Super Cede and virtual machine supplier Tower Technology - following the first investments in Java application house Net Dynamics and tools vendor Silver Stream earlier this month.
?Intel clearly recognises Java as being strategically important,? said a speaker for Sun.
William Roscoe, Intel?s European marketing manager for busines products, said: ?We are making investments in these small start-ups, but we want them to optimise their coding before we do. It is part of the many worldwide investments we are making in the industry, in the areas of applications, tools and content.?
Roscoe added: ?We choose them for a combination of reasons - what type of company they are (application, content or tool), what kind of applications or tools they provide, and whether we see them being strategically important to the future growth of high performance PCs."
He added: "We have a group specifically focused on making investments to help drive the usage of PCs and Intel architecture servers forward.?
Analysts agree that Intel?s strategy is to back technologies that will dominate the market, so that it will in turn sell more processors, and see it trying to tighten its grip on server-side Java systems now that the technology is gaining ground.
Intel has over 100 investments in companies, valued at an estimated $500 million.
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