Sun Microsystems moved its next generation HotSpot Java Virtual Machine (JVM) into beta on Friday and claims the offering will provide Java peformance that can now rival that of C++.
The hardware supplier attests the new JVM can undertake incremental garbage collection that is four or five times faster than before, and includes a true optimising compiler, similar to the one found in C, for the first time.
This, according to Dave Griswold, Sun?s manager of Java Platform Performance at the Java Business Expo in New York this week, means that ?the performance issue is nearly gone?.
?The Java 2 VM architecture lays the foundation for HotSpot, which is completely binary-ready and completely redefined. It?s a radical new generation of JVMs. Java 2 was a maturation, a completing, a tuning and a preparation for the next jump, which comes with the arrival of HotSpot. And Java 2 includes launchers that know about HotSpot already, so users will automatically be able to switch over to it when it ships,? he said.
He added: ?It?s not quite C quality code, but it?s up there. The performance of compiled code shouldn?t be so much of a problem now and the scaleability curve is much better as is thread synchronisation. It also means that native code is no longer tied to a particular JVM.?
But John Neffenger, founder and chief technology officer of Java benchmarking firm Volano, warned that Sun needed to focus on stabilising its technology now rather on than performance.
?Stability is the next issue and this needs to be Sun?s long-term approach. It seems to take one step forward and two steps back. Having said that stability with Java 2 is reasonably good,? he said.
Gary McGraw, vice president of business development at Reliable Software Technologies, also pointed out that users needed to make a trade-off between performance and security when developing applications to run on a JVM.
?With Java 2, you can now have partially trusted code. So you can make a tailormade solution, but the performance hit is definately there. If you want specialised permissions, it will slow down the system considerably and there?s a big tension in Javaland between security and performance. You can?t have both, but deciding where to draw the line can be a tough decision,? he explained.
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