Java Multithreading

Java is a multithreaded programming language. Java multithreading refers to having multiple threads that can run concurrently (at the same time). It is also know as Concurrency in Java. Each thread is a single executable piece of code that runs parallelly to other threads.

Life cycle of a thread

A life cycle of a thread has following stages:

Java Multithreading
Java Multithreading (Thread life cycle)
  • New: When a thread is created it is new. It is also known as born thread. A thread stays in new state until it is not started by a program.
  • Runnable: When a program starts a new born thread, it goes into runnable state. The thread is executing its task when in runnable state.
  • Running: When thread starts execution, then it goes into the running state.
  • Waiting: When a thread has to wait then it is said to be in waiting state. As multiple threads are executing at a time so a threads waits for the other threads to complete execution. This maintains a synchronization among threads.
  • Dead: After a thread has competed its execution, it is terminated and it goes into the Dead state.

Create a thread

There are two steps to create a thread. Each step is explained below:

In the first step, user can use the Runnable interface to create a thread. This interface provide run() method that is an entry point for thread. The syntax is:

The second step of creating a thread is creating an object of Thread class, using the Thread() constructor. The Thread() constructor takes two arguments. The first argument is the instance of a class from the Runnable interface. The second argument takes String input as the name of thread. The syntax is:

Start a thread

After user creates a thread, the thread can be started by using the start() method. The start() method invokes a call to run() method. The syntax of calling start() method is:

Here is an example that demonstrates the concept of Java multithreading:

class Multithreading implements Runnable {
   private Thread th;
   private String threadName;
   Multithreading( String name) {
      threadName = name;
      System.out.println(threadName + " Creating");
   public void run() {
      System.out.println(threadName + " Running");
      try {
         for(int i = 2; i > 0; i--) {
            System.out.println("Thread: " + threadName + ", " + i);
            // Letting the thread sleep for some time.
      }catch (InterruptedException e) {
         System.out.println("Thread " +  threadName + " interrupted.");
      System.out.println("Thread " +  threadName + " exiting.");
   public void start () {
      System.out.println(threadName +  " Starting" );
      if (th == null) {
         th = new Thread (this, threadName);
         th.start ();

public class Example {

   public static void main(String args[]) {
      Multithreading m1 = new Multithreading( "Thread-1");
      Multithreading m2 = new Multithreading( "Thread-2");

In the above code, the class Multithreading that implements from Runnable. The output of above code after compilation is:

Java Thread Methods

Here is a list of built in methods and their descriptions, provided by the Thread class:

1.void start()This method starts the execution of thread. It also invokes the run() method.
2.void sleep()It makes a thread sleep for specified time.
3.void run()It performs the actions assigned to a thread.
4.String getName()It returns the name of the thread.
5.static Thread currentThread()It returns reference object of the thread that is being executed at the moment.
6.void join()This method waits for a thread to terminate or die.
7.void setName()This method is used to change name of the specified thread.
8.boolean isAlive()It checks whether the thread is alive or not. Returns true if is alive and returns false if it is dead.
9.void setPriority()This method changes the priority of specified thread.
10.static void yield()This method makes the currently executing thread to pause and lets other threads to execute.
Java Multithreading Methods

Advantages of Java Multithreading

  • The advantage of using multithreading in Java is that it saves space. Each thread does not occupy individual memory space.
  • Multithreading is also more efficient as the context switching between threads happens at a faster rate.
  • Multithreading provides multitasking so user can perform multiple operations at one time.
  • It provides cost efficiency by reducing the time and memory allocation.