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The Java® Virtual Machine Specification, Java SE 7 Edition, Third Edition by Alex Buckley, Gilad Bracha, Frank Yellin, Tim Lindholm

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2.5. Run-Time Data Areas

The Java Virtual Machine defines various run-time data areas that are used during execution of a program. Some of these data areas are created on Java Virtual Machine start-up and are destroyed only when the Java Virtual Machine exits. Other data areas are per thread. Per-thread data areas are created when a thread is created and destroyed when the thread exits.

2.5.1. The pc Register

The Java Virtual Machine can support many threads of execution at once (JLS §17). Each Java Virtual Machine thread has its own pc (program counter) register. At any point, each Java Virtual Machine thread is executing the code of a single method, namely the current method (§2.6) for that thread. If that method is not native, the pc register ...

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