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Chapter 16 Java Virtual Machine. To compile a java program in, enter javac javac outputs Simple.class, a file that contains bytecode.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 16 Java Virtual Machine. To compile a java program in, enter javac javac outputs Simple.class, a file that contains bytecode."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 16 Java Virtual Machine

2 To compile a java program in, enter javac javac outputs Simple.class, a file that contains bytecode (machine language for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). To run Simple.class, enter java Simple program data

3 java (the Java interpreter) makes your computer act like the JVM so it can execute bytecode.

4 Why is Java slow? Interpretation of bytecode can involve a lot of overhead. JVM dynamically links classes versus C++ where linking is done at compile time. Slow start-up. JVM performs checks during loading, linking, and executing bytecode (array bounds, invalid casts, etc).

5 Why is Java good for the Web? Bytecode is space efficient (transport). Bytecode is portable to any system with a java interpreter. Java applets are safe to run. For example, you can’t access the file system from an applet.

6 Four parts of the JVM Execution engine (contains pc register) Method area (contains information on each class: bytecode, static variables, information needed for verification and linking). Java stack (the run time stack). Each frame of the Java stack contains a local variable array and an operand stack. heap (contains data associated with objects). Periodically, garbage collection deallocates objects in the heap that are no longer referenced.

7 Comparison of JVM and Traditional Program Memory Allocation Execution engine: not part of comparison; acts like CPU Method area: Code and Globals Java Stack (the run time stack). The Stack Heap (contains data associated with objects). The Heap

8 There are two types of stacks in the JVM The Java stack The Java stack consists of frames, one frame for each method invocation. Each frame contains an operand stack and a local variable array.

9 Local variable array Contains local variables indexed starting from 0. For example, the first slot of the local variable array is called local variable 0. This array also contains parameters. All primitives and references fit in this array. byte and short are sign-extended char is zero-extended double and long use two slots in the array

10 Operand stack Used to hold operands and results during the execution of instructions. Example: iadd: pops two operands of the Operand Stack, adds them and pushes the result back onto the Operand Stack

11 Operand stack The JVM is said to have a Stack Architecture because of the Operand Stack, not the Java Stack.

12 JVM is a Stack Archtitecture 32 bit store load putstatic getstatic (indexed)

13 Most instructions consist of an opcode only and are 1 byte long. For example, iconst_0, iconst_1, iconst_2, iconst_3, iconst_4, iconst_5 which push 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively, onto the operand stack. The more common operations are performed by such single-byte opcode-only instructions. The first letter of the opcode represents the argument data type - i for integer, a for reference

14 Some instructions require an operand. For example, bipush 6 which pushes 6 and uses 2 bytes – one for opcode and one for operand. This instruction consists of the opcode for bipush (byte integer push) followed by a byte containing 6. A 4-byte, sign-extended version is actually what gets pushed. To push a number greater than 127, use sipush (short int push). For example, sipush 130 The range of values that can be operands for sipush is [-32768.32767]

15 Symbolic bytecode that adds three numbers

16 The initial letter of some mnemonics indicates the data type. For example, iadd, dadd, fadd, ladd. a: reference d: double f: float i: integer ia: integer array l: long The actual operation takes place in the Execution Engine.

17 iload_0 pushes the value in local variable 0 (i.e., it pushes the value from the first slot of the local variable array onto the operand stack; first 4 slots only) iload 4 pushes the value in local variable 4. Load instructions on the JVM one byte two bytes

18 istore_0 pops and stores the value on top of the operand stack into local variable 0. istore 4 pops and stores the value on top of the operand stack into local variable 4. Store instructions on the JVM

19 A static variable in Java is a variable associated with a class rather than an object. It is shared by all objects of its class. A static method in Java is a method that can be called via its class.

20 The getstatic and putstatic instructions transfer values between the top of the operand stack and static variables. The operand that appears in getstatic and putstatic instructions is an index into the constant pool. For example, getstatic 2 pushes a value at location 2 in the constant pool onto the operand stack.

21 Invoking a static method with invokestatic instruction Calling environment pushes args onto its stack beginning with receiver (invokevirtual) or constant pool ref to class (invokestatic). Creates frame for the called method and pushes it onto the Java stack. Pops the arguments from the caller’s operand stack and places them in the called method’s local variable array starting from local variable1. Local variable 0 is used to hold a reference to the object or the class as appropriate. Transfers control to the called method.

22 invokestatic Argument is index of constant pool ptr to actual method this pushed first

23 Returning a value to the calling method with the ireturn instruction The value returned is pushed onto the calling method’s operand stack. s

24 iconst_3 return

25 Implementation of the execution engine

26 sp = operand top-of-stack *sp == sp[0] ap = local variable array trivial to “decode”

27 The wisdom of using a stack architecture for the JVM A stack architecture on a simulated machine is no slower than a register architecture (on a simulated machine). Register architecture is faster only if the registers are real registers. On a simulated machine even registers are in memory. Bytecode is very compact which is important for a web programs. Few extra operands for operations. stack == memory == slow!!

28 A simple Java program follows, along with its bytecode

29 notice: return address handled by JVM; not on our stack


31 A formatted display of the constant pool for our simple program follows.

32 type of entrywhat class; what thing the actual class (reference) method name; param list default constructor

33 Information in the constant pool for index 3

34 An attribute in a class file The first entry is the constant pool index of the attribute name. The second entry is the length of what follows.

35 A hex display of the complete class file for our simple program follows.



38 max operand stack sz max lva array sz lv1 = 11;


40 Sizes of comparable programs

41 Some comparison and control instructions goto unconditional jump if_cmplt compares top two stack items if_icmpge compares top two stack items iflt compares top of stack with 0 if_acmpeq compares references (not values) if_acmpne compares references (not values) See the illustrative program on the next slide.

42 jump absolute to jmp relative addressing java puts test at bottom of loop


44 Instructions that jump use pc-relative addressing A70006 (the machine code for goto 6) jumps to the location whose address is 6 + the contents of the pc register (before incrementation). Range limitation: ±32k within method.

45 Unassembling the Simple class file javap –c Simple

46 cinit() init()

47 Unassemble this program to see its bytecode

48 pushes left-to-right

49 public class O { public static void f() { //... } int x; }

50 Arrays and objects

51 (o) needed to pass to constructor even though f() is static we invoke it with an object receiver

52 Now that you know the basics of the JVM, you can enjoy (and understand) some more advanced discussions of the JVM.


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