BEAM on Win32?

Ulf Wiger <>
Mon Apr 19 15:58:03 CEST 1999


Craig Dickson wrote:
> 
> I've just installed the pre-built 47.4.1 Win32 binaries and I find that it
> seems to be a JAM-only build. This is a little disappointing to me as I was
> hoping to try out the faster BEAM emulator.

I can't tell you how to make BEAM on Win32, or even if it can be done,
but I can tell you a little about BEAM, since the AXD 301 project uses
it.

I wouldn't call BEAM experimental anymore. We've been using it for quite
some time now (what is it? since '96?), and it's very stable. However,
we use Solaris. I think it's more of a porting issue, and in the olden
days, BEAM was very difficult to port (partly because it generated
native code.)

As far as speed is concerned. BEAM does seem mostly faster than JAM -
for most applications, I would think that it's decidedly faster. But the
performance differences vary depending on the characteristics of the
application (sometimes, JAM may even be faster than BEAM!) JAM and BEAM
are essentially two different execution models (stack machine vs
register machine) on top of the same runtime system. Scheduling, GC,
message passing, ets, etc. are all the same.

I know that BEAM is about twice as fast on higher-order functions and
list comprehensions, so if you use them extensively, you should get
quite a performance boost.

Another nice thing about BEAM is that it can address 1 GB of memory,
compared to 256 MB for JAM.

/Uffe
-- 
Ulf Wiger, Chief Designer AXD 301     <>
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