ARM speeds mobile Java development

New software from the UK chip designer aids the development of smart mobile phones

UK chip designer ARM released a new development kit for its processors on Wednesday, making it easier for developers to take advantage of ARM's Java accelerator, Jazelle. Version 1.2 of ARM's Developer Suite is also the first to run on the GNU/Linux operating system.

ARM technology is widely used in mobile phones, handheld computers and other mobile devices, and the new software will make it easier to build Java support into such products. Some mobile phones already support Java, which can be used to download and run applications and games.

ARM says that wireless gadgets using Java won't have to wait until the arrival of 3G, the high-speed mobile data network, to arrive. "People are developing these things now," said Lester Perera, product manager for development tools. He said the "major pull" for Jazelle is the capabilities it can add to mobile phones. A few high-end phones, such as Nokia's Symbian-based 7650, already offer Java support.

Perera said there had been "quite a large demand" for a Linux version of the developer tools. He said that while Windows software makes up most of ARM's developer kit sales, about 10 percent of ARM's customers use the Solaris or HP-UX versions of Unix.

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