Processor extensions create
compact embedded Java
ARC International has added new Java extensions to its ARCtangent-A4 user-customisable microprocessor, enabling one of the smallest embedded Java solutions currently available
Benchmarks indicate the ARC Java extensions deliver nearly 30% greater performance than its nearest competitor - with significantly less overhead. The ARC Java extensions were developed by DCT (Digital Communications Technologies), a Java microcontroller specialist. They add only about 5K gates to the 32bit ARCtangent-A4 processor - a total of less than 40K gates for an integrated RISC/Java solution.
Performance has been benchmarked at about 7 CM/MHs (CaffeineMarks per megaherts).
ARC and DCT are demonstrating the ARC Java extensions at the Embedded Systems show in Nurnberg this week.
Adding the Java extensions are in line with ARC's vertical technology strategy to provide specific system level integration solutions around its microprocessor for key growth sectors.
They address a fast-growing market for small, low cost embedded Java systems, particularly in high volume consumer and multimedia applications such as mobile handsets, digital TV set-top boxes, and web pads.
Johannes Richter, business unit director multimedia/automotive at Fujitsu said, "This solution enables differentiation of an embedded Java system at the hardware level rather than software, because of the user-customisable nature of ARC's processor.
By focusing on low cost, power and memory footprint, this embedded Java architecture should accelerate Java uptake".
Fujitsu's multimedia business was one of the first companies to develop MPEG-2 and multimedia chips based on ARC's processor, and now it is expected to ship the first Java-enabled multimedia processor based on ARCtangent-A4.
The key benefits of the ARC Java extensions are: ease of integration, compatibility with existing operating systems and tools, compact logic, lower memory requirements, low power consumption and greatly enhanced Java performance.
Unlike competing Java solutions, the ARC Java extensions are not part of a bulky Java coprocessor.
Instead, they are native instructions that execute Java bytecode instructions directly.
They require no extra pipeline stages, minimising latency.
They require no cumbersome mode switching, because compilers and programmers can freely interleave the standard and extended ARCtangent-A4 instructions.
This also allows aggressive optimisations.
The ARCtangent-A4 processor with Java extensions can execute multiple Java bytecodes per clock cycle, where other solutions require multiple clock cycles per bytecode.
The Java extensions for the ARCtangent-A4 processor are expected to be available in Q2 2002.
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