64 bit JVM, here we come

I’m planning my WWDC trip and I noticed that the preliminary schedules are up now. BTW, if you’re planning to go, I’d book soon, since the early registration is ending soon.

One of the sessions caught my eye: “64-bit Java Virtual Machine Exposed“.

With the new 64-bit Java Virtual Machine you can now access a larger Java heap from your high-performance Java server application. 64-bit Java enables Java heaps much larger than the current 2Gb limit. We will focus on the changes required to use 64-bit Java and the implications associated with it.

Ah yes… this is why I need to buy a G5 with 8GB of RAM. I wonder if Eclipse will be supported on this configuration. I know that Eclipse already supports Linux/GTK on 64-bit AMD64.

Also scheduled at the same time (5:00-6:30 on Friday) is “The Next Phase of Eclipse’s Development“.

Eclipse has quickly become one of the most widely used cross-platform Java development environments. In this hands-on session, we’ll show you how to get started on your next Java project, get over the initial hurdles, and become comfortable with Eclipse. Learn from other experienced developers who are using Eclipse to build Java applications today.

I’d like to go to this session too, not so much to learn about Eclipse. I’m still processing stuff from EclipseCon. But I’d like to get developers excited about using Eclipse on OS X and let them know that there is a community around that combination. It’s too bad these two are at the same time. Moving one of them to the 2:00-3:30 time slot would be good us developers who are doing Eclipse on OS X and also wanting to take advantage of the 64-bit JVM.

3 Replies to “64 bit JVM, here we come”

  1. I guess this means Tiger (Java 5) for Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4) will be 64 bit.

    Wouldn’t the Mac Eclipse developers already know about this? I guess they are under the Apple gag order so they can’t talk about it on Eclipse Bugzilla? That’s a shame because they could have been working on 64-bit support for the Mac all of this time.

    Is the G5 the only 64 bit processor? I guess that rules out PowerBooks. I only have a G3 iBook.

  2. G5 is the full 64 bit processor, though they can run 32 bit apps natively, so all the existing apps run great on G5s with no problem.

    G4s are 32 bit integer, 64 bit floating point, and 128 bit AltiVec (aka Velocity Engine.) Practically speaking, that means most apps are 32 bit and that multimedia stuff like the Waves plug-ins that I use can optimize for the Velocity Engine for better performance with processing large data structures. The same applies for photo and video editing, which is part the reason why I think Macs rule in the creative industries. Look at last week’s Apprentice for example and you see nothing but Cinema Displays and PowerBooks when they’re doing the photo shoots.

    G5s have 64 bit integer, 64 bit floating point, and 128 bit AltiVec. But they have other improvements. Check out Apple’s official G5 site for more details, especially the part about the execution core.

    G3s and other processors that have been utilized in Macs all the way back (a long long time ago it seems) to the Motorola 68000 series have all been 32 bit. The big difference between the G3 and the G4 is the AltiVec.

    BTW, Apple is recommending to have a 32-bit GUI Application that talks to a 64-bit headless Server application. So I think that Eclipse on Mac would be still be 32 bit for Tiger. But perhaps you could run the JDT in a 64-bit JVM to create an abstract syntax tree for n Java apps, especially on a Dual G5 with 8GB of RAM? Not sure how big n could be. You could potentially use that to harvest patterns or perhaps do refactoring across multiple applications as just two examples.

  3. I was wondering if you attended this session? Is now 64-bit JVM support in OS X? More specifically, I’m dying to know if I can use 8 GB heap (or anything above the Windows 1.6 GB limit) in my Java applications?

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