December 11, 1996 6:00 PM ET
Sun announces zippy JIT technology for deploying fast Java apps
By Talila Baron

  Sun Microsystems Inc. today announced high-performance Just-In-Time compiler technologies for deploying applications using Java.

Available now are the JIT compiler for the Solaris SPARC platform (beta version) and the JIT Validation Test Suite for assuring consistency across JITs.

Both products can be downloaded at www.sun.com/workshop/java/jit/.

JIT technology significantly increases the speed of Java applications by translating byte code to native machine code, allowing applications to run faster than programs without the JIT technology.

Performance increases up to 50 times have been documented with JIT compilation, with the most significant improvements occurring in long-running, compute-intensive programs such as those used for engineering or scientific work.

The JIT compiler for the Solaris SPARC platform is compatible with Solaris 2.5 and 2.5.1. Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95 and Windows NT will be supported in the next four weeks, and JIT support for the Macintosh is expected to be available within 60 days, officials said.

"For the developer, the JIT is a tool that actually enhances their end users' experience with the application," said Joe Keller, director of marketing and support for Sun's WorkShop Products with SunSoft Inc., in Menlo Park, Calif. "It accelerates Java computation and makes it run as fast as compiled languages."

Sun ultimately wants to make Java run as fast as C++, Keller said.

"Ultimately, that means improvements to the [virtual machine]," he said. "We will also build a native compiler, which will do compilation from byte codes."

Both technologies are scheduled for the second quarter of 1997, Keller said.

In addition, company officials said Sun's development environment, Java WorkShop, will be released in the first half of 1997 and will include the new JIT technologies.

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