• 12 Oct 2001: Manta 0.1 has been released! See the Software section.
  • 1 Nov 2001: CCJ 0.1 has been released! See the Software section.

    Note that there is a different project called ManTa (with uppercase 'T'), which is a programming/specification language and also the name of a system to assist a user in writing programs in the ManTa language. Its web site is


    Manta is a native Java compiler. It compiles Java source codes to x86 executables. Its goals are to beat the performance of all current Java implementations. Currently it already contains a highly efficient RMI implementation (source code compatible with std. RMI). It is currently about 30 times faster than standard implementations. Class libraries are taken from kaffe, classpath and partly homebrew.

    In doing experiments with Java RMI and JavaParty, we found the programming model of RMI and JavaParty to be convenient, but we also found that performance of remote method invocation for programming parallel clusters of workstations is too slow by far. Two-way latency of Sun's RMI is on the order of 1200 microsecond on Myrinet. Our Panda library achieves 30 microsecond on the same hardware. Based on our experience with Orca, we have written a Java system, called Manta, featuring a full-fledged native compiler and RMI run time system, that does a null-RMI in 34 microseconds. Manta supports the complete Java 1.1 language, including exceptions, garbage collection and dynamic class loading. Manta also supports some Java extentions, such as the JavaParty programming model (the 'remote' keyword), replicated objects (described at JavaGrande 2000), and efficient divide and conquer parallelism (the 'spawn' and 'sync' keywords from cilk). The divide and conquer system is called 'Satin' and was described at Euro-Par 2000 and PPoPP'01. Furthermore, we have built a distributed shared memory (DSM) system on top of Manta, called Jackal, described at JavaGrande 2001 and PPoPP'01. At this moment we are working on a completely new backend for our native compiler, which will generate code that is more efficient than the code generated by our current implementation. A preliminary release of Manta is scheduled for the near future.

    The Name

    Mantas are more commonly known as devilfish. Mantas are found in temperate and tropical waters near continents and island groups of all oceans. These cartilaginous fishes, also known as devil rays and sea bats, have greatly extended, winglike pectoral fins. The Atlantic Manta, the largest manta in the world, can measure 7 m of forward-pointing lobes on each side of the head, with a presumed resemblance to a devil's horns. These lobes are used to guide plankton and small crustaceans into the fish's mouth as it cruises near the surface; dense gill rakers extract the plankton. The fish is harmless to humans, but its thrashing when caught, can be dangerous. Mantas belong to the family "Mobulidae". The Atlantic manta is classified as "Manta birostris". The devil ray is classified as "Mobula hypostoma". Mantas are black-and-white. Many other projects in our research group have names of black-and-white animals (Orca, Panda, Das, Albatross, Hawk, Magpie).