Wind River resurrects real time Java file format for the Internet of Things

September 28, 2016 // By Nick Flaherty
Wind RiverMicro Runtime
Wind River is resurrecting a real time Java file format called JEFF to run on its VxWorks real time operating system for devices in the Internet of Things (IoT).

The technology behind the JEFF file format was developed in 1998 by the Real-Time Java Working Group (RTJWG), spinning out the J Consortium to provide a real time implementation of Java that could be used in embedded applications. The ISO standard for JEFF was defined in 2002 and re-confirmed in 2013 .

Wind River is now using it on top of VxWorks to provide an optimised embedded Java runtime engine, a virtual machine (VM) called Micro Runtime. Using JEFF enables the deployment of Java applications specifically for embedded devices that have a smaller footprint requirement on resource-constrained devices. It also means that IoT system developers can tap into Java programming skills.

“IoT developers can use Micro Runtime to design applications bringing the benefits of Java to embedded development such as increased development efficiency and code portability, and over-the-air bug fixes saving money and creating new revenue opportunities,” said Dinyar Dastoor, Vice President and General Manager, Operating System Platforms & Internet of Things at Wind River.

Micro Runtime executes bytecodes in the JEFF format, bringing together all the dependencies and libraries into one file so that it can be used on any deice running the VM. USing JEFF gives a reduction of 40-50% over the more common .JAR file format and allows execution from storage memory instead of RAM with more efficient execution to reduce the power consumption in the device. Micro Runtime includes key communication protocols (TCP, UDP, CoAP, and MQTT) and peripheral interfaces (GPIO, I2C, and SPIO), and has been optimized for memory/CPU-constrained systems.

“Micro Runtime provides an optimized embedded Java runtime engine enabling our customers to leverage the skills of millions of Java developers and also reuse applications to run on their existing VxWorks investment,” said Dastoor. “Micro Runtime also solves the typical Java support issue faced by small footprint and resource constrained embedded devices."

The portability is a key advantage, as well as over-the-air bug fixes that save money and create