Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Taking Java to the embedded market

24.02.2005


The age of the ‘disappearing computer’ is upon us. Slowly but surely, traditional IT systems are moving from visible desktop computers to invisible embedded computers in intelligent devices, thanks in part to cutting-edge Java technology.
This is where the IST project HIDOORS set out to make its mark. HIDOORS blazed a trail in its target market by demonstrating that the programming language Java was sufficiently robust and flexible to deal with the full requirements of embedded, real-time systems.

Java, which has become an important implementation technology for desktop and Internet applications, counts improved portability, type safety, and syntax as among its prime advantages. With appropriate tools and technology, HIDOORS’ goal was to bring these advantages to real-time and embedded systems as well.


HIDOORS brought together six European partners to improve the state of real-time programming using Java technology in the form of the JamaicaVM. The project aimed not just to improve the implementation of Java itself but also the tools needed to apply Java technology to a wide array of embedded real-time applications.

A commercial success

The major advances made in Java technology through the HIDOORS consortium also provided the launch pad for the commercial success of one its participating companies, aicas.

Project coordinator Dr James J. Hunt, who is now CEO at aicas, estimates that the company has grown by about 30 per cent a year since the beginning of the project.

“This project really enabled aicas to establish itself on the market,” he said. “We are the only commercial vendor that supports the Real-time Specification for Java (RTSJ) specification for Java which is a major plus. We also have incorporated real-time garbage collection technology that makes it easier to use Java in a real-time environment without compromising on the flexibility that is one of Java’s great strengths.”

Dr Fridtjof Siebert, Director of Development with aicas, agrees that the fledgling company would never have achieved so much in such a short space of time without the initial impetus of the HIDOORS project.

“For aicas, the participation in HIDOORS was essential to mature our product from a research prototype to a product that is the technology leader on the market. HIDOORS enabled this development and the addition of required new functionality such as the RTSJ support, better optimisation, thorough testing, complete libraries and powerful tools. Furthermore, the evaluation that was performed in HIDOORS forced the development to address the users’ needs and provided most valuable feedback for improvements,” he said.

A leading market position

With its innovative use of Java, aicas has rapidly established a leading position in a burgeoning market. Siebert feels that its early mover advantage means that aicas is now perfectly positioned to capitalise on the growing demand for real-time Java applications.

“Today, we see three main markets for our technology: Industrial automation, automotive and aerospace/military. We see a potential to achieve a turnover of tens of millions of euros in each of these markets in the coming years. The total benefits for the users of real-time Java technology will be significantly larger and we expect a total yearly productivity gain in the order of hundreds of millions of euros compared to classical development technologies in this area,” he said.

Hunt agrees that the timing has been critical for aicas’s success, allowing the company to push forward into an area where few other companies initially dared to tread. “There was an obvious gap in the market. But the main problem at the time was that the technology for Java simply wasn’t mature enough to develop the sort of applications that were needed. So it is gratifying that we were able to push the state-of-the-art ahead in terms of Java technology with this project,” he said.

In terms of the benefits to enterprises of using Java technology for real-time applications, James Hunt cites two principal advantages.

“One clear benefit is the programming security that you have with an object oriented language like Java; there are classes of errors that you simply don’t have if you use Java instead of a language such as C or C+. And the other advantage is the flexibility that the Java platform provides. For instance, we have industrial automation customers who can give their customers a much greater ability to customize the machines that they produce without having to harbour major concerns about it causing failures in the system. And this kind of flexibility is very important for many markets,” he said.

Hunt is also adamant that the backing of the IST programme was critical in allowing a small company like aicas to develop its technology and flourish in the marketplace. As to the future, although HIDOORS has officially run its course, James Hunt doesn’t anticipate any let-up in the pace of innovation.

“There are various bases of technology that we would like to push ahead with. Some of it has gone into a new EU project and we are also looking at the possibility of working with other partners from the HIDOORS project in specific technology areas. I think you will see a lot more development from these collaborations in the future,” he said.

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Deep Learning predicts hematopoietic stem cell development
21.02.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Sensors embedded in sports equipment could provide real-time analytics to your smartphone
16.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>