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ARM, Sun broaden Java-chip effort

The companies will announce a partnership Monday to cooperate on Java technology and integrate it into more ARM microprocessors, sources familiar with the deal say.

Sun Microsystems and ARM Holdings will announce a partnership Monday to cooperate on Java technology and integrate it into more ARM microprocessors, sources familiar with the deal said.

ARM--along with MIPS, one of the major makers of the CPUs that power cell phones--is a key partner in Sun's effort to increase the usefulness of its Java software in cell phones and other gadgets. The effort focuses on converting relatively slow and power-hungry Java software so it's built directly into microprocessors.

Sources said that under the deal, ARM will license Sun's Java technology, which lets programs run on a variety of different systems without having to be reworked for each one. Specifically, ARM will get access to Sun's Java technology so the two companies can align their Java plans and cooperate on Java improvements tailored for wireless and mobile gadgets.

Two ARM chips, the ARM7 Thumb and the ARM9 Thumb, can run some Java instructions through a chip extension called Jazelle. ARM will spread this Java ability across its entire line, a source said.