SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Red Hat is sponsoring a port of OpenJDK to the ARM64 architecture.
Earlier this year ARM announced its ARMv8 architecture that delivers 64-bit capability, something that is seen as vital for server deployment. Now Red Hat will sponsor a port of OpenJDK, an open source Java distribution, to the ARM64 architecture.
Andrew Haley wrote on Advogato that the decision was taken to port OpenJDK to ARM64 because the present OpenJDK ARM situation "is rather unsatisfactory". Haley said that the project will result in free software and the template interpreter is almost done. He expects it to be finished by Christmas, though he added that he is bound by a non-disclosure agreement and therefore is unable to reveal more details at this time.
Haley said that following the template interpreter's completion the project will move on to building one of Java's key technologies, a just-in-time compiler. He said, "To the best of our knowledge there hasn't been a full port of HotSpot done as an open project since OpenJDK was freed five years ago. It's a little scary, but we're confident that this is going to work."
Given Red Hat's support of Java through its Jboss middleware product and the fact that it sees ARM based servers as an area where it can make headway in the datacentre, the work Haley and his team are doing will be vital to ensure that Red Hat and other Linux vendors keep the pressure on Microsoft when 64-bit ARM servers finally arrive. µ