MachStream is an application acceleration platform that features hardware-based JIT technology. Its acceleration engine supports processor-intensive mobile Internet applications, such as multimedia, browser languages, and Java by moving these applications into silicon. MachStream is also designed to accelerate applications running on a variety of wireless operating systems and standards. This enables devices such as next-generation PDAs, smartphones, web-enabled phones, gaming consoles, and wireless tablets to process Java applications rapidly, according to the company. MachStream comprises two technologies: Mach1, a silicon-based JIT code translation and optimization accelerator, and Mach II, a hardware-based data processing engine. MachStream attaches to RISC and DSP architectures as an intelligent peripheral device and requires no modification to the processor architecture or layout. Initial implementations are optimized for the family of ARM processors but the technology is inherently processor independent.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.