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Heterogeneous multi-core processors, such as the IBM Cell processor, can deliver high performance. However, these processors are notoriously difficult to program: different cores support different instruction set architectures, and the processor as a whole does not provide coherence between the different cores' local memories. The authors present Hera-JVM, an implementation of the Java Virtual Machine which operates over the Cell processor, thereby making this platforms more readily accessible to mainstream developers. Hera-JVM supports the full Java language; threads from an unmodified Java application can be simultaneously executed on both the main PowerPC-based core and on the additional SPE accelerator cores.
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