Chapter Six High-Level Language Virtual Machine Implementation

The collection of binary classes or modules that make up a program specify its operation in terms of the HLL VM architecture. It is up to the HLL VM implementation to carry out the specified operations. This chapter discusses HLL VM implementations, primarily by describing the Java VM, the best known of the HLL VMs. A CLI implementation is similar in many respects. We describe the major implementation components and then look at ways of improving performance in HLL VM implementations. We complete the chapter with a case study of a specific high-performance JVM, the Jikes research VM.

The organization of a typical JVM implementation (Venners 1998) is shown in Figure 6.1. The three ...

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