Design of the Java HotSpot™ Client Compiler for Java 6

Thomas Kotzmann, Christian Wimmer, Hanspeter Mössenböck
Institute for System Software
Christian Doppler Laboratory for Automated Software Engineering

Thomas Rodriguez, Kenneth Russell, David Cox
Sun Microsystems, Inc.


Version 6 of Sun Microsystems' Java HotSpot™ VM ships with a redesigned version of the client just-in-time compiler that includes several research results of the last years. The client compiler is at the heart of the VM configuration used by default for interactive desktop applications. For such applications, low startup and pause times are more important than peak performance. This paper outlines the new architecture of the client compiler and shows how it interacts with the VM. It presents the intermediate representation that now uses static single assignment (SSA) form and the linear scan algorithm for global register allocation. Efficient support for exception handling and deoptimization fulfills the demands that are imposed by the dynamic features of the Java programming language. The evaluation shows that the new client compiler generates better code in less time. The popular SPECjvm98 benchmark suite is executed 45% faster, while the compilation speed is also up to 40% better. This indicates that a carefully selected set of global optimizations can also be integrated in just-in-time compilers that focus on compilation speed and not on peak performance. In addition, the paper presents the impact of several optimizations on execution and compilation speed. As the source code is freely available, the Java HotSpot™ VM and the client compiler are the ideal basis for experiments with new feedback-directed optimizations in a production-level Java just-in-time compiler. The paper outlines research projects that add fast algorithms for escape analysis, automatic object inlining, and array bounds check elimination.

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© ACM, 2008. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution.
Published in the ACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization, volume 5, issue 1, article 7, May 2008.