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 Earthquake researchers finalists for supercomputing prize
19.11.2018 | University of Tokyo

nachricht Putting food-safety detection in the hands of consumers
15.11.2018 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New materials: Growing polymer pelts

19.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Earthquake researchers finalists for supercomputing prize

19.11.2018 | Information Technology

Controlling organ growth with light

19.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>