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Embedded Systems Developer Survey Uncovers Spike in Java Virtual Machine Use
Embedded Systems Developer Survey Uncovers Spike in Java Virtual Machine Use

(August 8, 2002) - While embedded systems developers have traditionally been slow and cautious about the adoption of new technologies, a new survey finds a sharp increase in their use of Java Virtual Machines in the last six months.

The newest installment in Evans Data Corp.'s Embedded Systems Developer Survey, fielded in July 2002, shows 36% of embedded developers already use or plan to implement Java Virtual Machines, up from a combined 26% in the previous survey six months ago.

The inherent portability of Java applications from one system to the next and Internet connectivity are the main reasons for Java Virtual Machine's usage growth in embedded projects, according to the in-depth interviews conducted with more than 400 developers actively working with embedded systems. The developers identified "performance issues" and lack of real-time capabilities among the primary disadvantages of Java that still must be overcome.

"Despite these reservations," said Tom Williams, Evans' embedded systems analyst, "the advantages of Java are so compelling that a great deal of activity is being directed toward innovations to increase its performance in embedded applications."

The new survey also found that embedded Linux is continuing to attract attention but adoption rates have only slightly increased from the previous survey. Developers cited uncertainty of standards/concerns about forking and not enough commercial support as an embedded OS as the main perceived Linux weakness. Main strengths of Linux as an embedded OS are -- not surprisingly -- royalty-free licensing and full access to source code.

Other notable findings from the recent survey:

  • Embedded system development has its share of starts, stops, and late delivery of projects. More than half of embedded systems developers report that between 10% and 50% of their projects are abandoned. Of those that are completed, a third take more than a year and 40% take between six months to a year to complete.

  • Over the past year there has been a dramatic shift in those developers who say they plan to use System-on-Chip in future designs. The number of those planning an SoC design has shot up to over 30 percent.

    For more information, see

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    JDJ News Desk monitors the world of Java to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the Java and i-technology space.

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