Yorktown Heights, NY — (press release excerpt) — IBM Research has released the Jikes Research Virtual Machine (RVM), open source software designed to execute Java programs that are most useful for research on fundamental virtual machine design issues on the IBM developerWorks website. The Jikes RVM will provide academic and research communities with a flexible testbed to prototype new virtual machine technologies and experiment with a large variety of design alternatives.
The Jikes RVM runs on AIX/PowerPC, Linux/PowerPC and Linux/IA-32 platforms and includes state-of-the-art virtual machine technologies for dynamic compilation, adaptive optimization, garbage collection, thread scheduling, and synchronization. A unique characteristic of the Jikes RVM is that it is implemented in the Java programming language and is self-hosted i.e., its Java code runs on itself without requiring a second virtual machine. In contrast, other virtual machines for Java are either written in native code (typically, C, or C++) or written in Java with a reliance on a second underlying virtual machine to execute its Java code. A Java implementation provides ease of portability, and a seamless integration of virtual machine and application resources such as objects, threads, and operating-system interfaces.
The virtual machine infrastructure in the Jikes RVM release was independently developed during the last four years as part of the Jalapeño research project at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. Early versions of the Jikes RVM have been made available to 16 universities under a pre-release license. Researchers at these universities have found that the Jikes RVM provides an ideal vehicle for research on the frontiers of virtual machine technologies. With the availability of source code for Linux, the Linux ports of the Jikes RVM can be used for experimenting with a larger testbed that includes both the operating system and the virtual
The Jikes RVM follows other Java technology releases from IBM Research, including the Jikes compiler, the Jikes Parser Generator (JikesPG) and the Jikes Bytecode Toolkit (JikesBT). The Jikes RVM is available for download immediately from the Open Source Zone on developerWorks. It includes a GUI plugin for running Jikes RVM under IBM's Eclipse tool integration platform.
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