Attempting to get a leg up on its Unix archrivals Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard (HP), IBM has announced it will deliver next month 64-bit Java technology to be built into its AIX 5L operating system.
The inclusion of the 64-bit technology will significantly elevate the operating system's scalability for supporting functions such as online libraries, large databases, and other applications that need 64-bit addressing in order to access large amounts of memory, according to company officials.
As part of the announcement, IBM said it has joined forces with Micromass to jointly develop and deliver customised hardware/software solutions for managing, analyzing, and storing information gathered by Micromass devices.
Micromass officials said they plan to release 64-bit Java applications, called ProteinLynx Global Server, for AIX 5L. The server is used by scientists involved in projects such as examining the difference between normal and diseased cells, including cancer cells, so as to determine a pattern on how the disease occurs.
"This 64-bit Java technology allows us to search much larger data banks than before, making it possible to search the entire human genome database in one pass over the Web," said Jeremy Batt, software director at Micromass.
IBM is making available for download its AIX Developer Kit, Java 2 Technology Edition, Version 1.3.0, also early next month. The updated release allows developers to create fully exploitive 64-bit Java applications.
Version 1.3.0 contains IBM's Just In Time compiler as well as the company's Mixed Mode Interpreter and a reconfigured Java Virtual Machine, the latter of which includes an enhanced memory management subsystem for handling large heap sizes.
IBM has already released a 64-bit version of the Java Virtual Machine for its OS/400 operating system more than a year ago.
Also this week at Sun Microsystem' JavaOne conference, IBM announced that its eServer systems with 4-, 8-, 12-, and 24-procesor systems outperformed Sun by as much as 56 per cent in running Java applications.
According to the SPECjbb2000 server-based benchmark, IBM's four-way eServer p620 carried out 25,087 operations a second, outperforming a competitive 4-way system from Sun by 56 per cent.