Embedded Java


I am interested in embedded Java -- not in cell phones, PDAs, or set-top boxes, but running on low end embedded processors for general purpose embedded systems.

I have seen the Dallas Semiconductor (Maxim) TINI platform around for years. It is essentially a small Java virtual machine running on an

8051 (DS80C400). This platform has attracted competitors such as Systronix and Imsys/SNAP, who support the TINI form factor.

But I am wondering if these products are really used much in production systems. In my day job as an embedded software engineer, we invariably squeeze every last nickel out of the hardware cost, and we would never inflate our product cost or accept slower runtime performance (JVM layer on the 8051) just to use a particular programming language.

Of course, I can imagine there are some low volume applications where using Java somehow makes the numbers come out right, but I would think that is the exception.

So what's the story? Do people use these things in production products, or are they really only used on the bench to experiment with embedded Java?



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They are used in special products where the ability to run Java apps is part of the specification; for example, smartcards.

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I know of one person who used a similar Java based device for the html control/status interface in robotic assembly units. I do not know the details of implementation though.

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Lars G.

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