Traditionally, JVM implementations have been done in software. However, implementation of JVM environments in hardware devices has become both a focus of intense research and a physical reality.
Many researchers have studied the problem of implementing JVMs in hardware [21,8] with promising results. Supporting the JVM directly in hardware is an inevitability and will likely become quite common. One researcher even built a prototype hardware JVM implementation .
Meanwhile, in the commercial world, SUN has already licensed picoJava , a central component core for a JVM microprocessor, to a number of companies. According to SUN , these companies plan to incorporate this hardware technology into future products.
Thus, it is very likely that hardware devices with native JVM implementations will be common in the years to come. Developers should not be limited to only the Java programming language when writing software for these hardware devices. Porting non-Java languages to the JVM will provide choice to these developers, so they can choose the best language for the job. Such choice will remove the common limitations imposed by engineering or marketing requirements that demand a particular hardware device.
Copyright © 2000, 2001 Bradley M. Kuhn.
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