Three months ago IBM Corp was talking about its development of a Java Acceleration Chip (JAC) co-processor to speed those Java applications for network computers that have yet to appear in any volume. But now the company is wondering whether it is really necessary as it has almost finished tweaking its Java Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler technology, according to the network computer division’s vice president for marketing David McAughtry. He told us that by the time the JIT ships next quarter it should be up to about 18,000 CaffeineMarks – right now it’s at about 13,000, and that, combined with the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), should be sufficient for the NC’s needs right now. To put that into perspective, Sun Microsystems Inc was recently touting its forthcoming microJava Java chips as having a performance level of about 13,300 CaffeineMarks. The JAC, which has not been ruled out entirely, was to have been implemented as an ASIC alongside the PowerPC RISC chip in the NCs. The work is based on the company’s CMOS technology used in its S/390 G4 mainframe processors. The series 1000 NC that ships on December 1 will not include the JIT, but users will be able to upgrade to it for free when it ships.
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