Swing is a GUI toolkit for Java. It is one part of the Java Foundation Classes (JFC). Swing includes graphical user interface (GUI) widgets such as text boxes, buttons, split-panes, and tables.
Swing widgets provide more sophisticated GUI components than the earlier Abstract Window Toolkit. Since they are written in pure Java, they run the same on all platforms, unlike the AWT which is tied to the underlying platform's windowing system. Swing supports pluggable look and feel – not by using the native platform's facilities, but by roughly emulating them. This means you can get any supported look and feel on any platform. The disadvantage of lightweight components is slower execution. The advantage is uniform behavior on all platforms.
JFC stands for Java Foundation Classes. The Java Foundation Classes (JFC) are a set of Java class libraries provided as part of Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE) to support building graphics user interface (GUI) and graphics functionality for client applications that will run on popular platforms such as Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX.
AWT stands for Abstract Window Toolkit. AWT enables programmers to develop Java applications with GUI components, such as windows, and buttons. The Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is responsible for translating the AWT calls into the appropriate calls to the host operating system.
AWT is heavy-weight components, but Swing is light-weight components. AWT is OS dependent because it uses native components, But Swing components are OS independent. We can change the look and feel in Swing which is not possible in AWT. Swing takes less memory compared to AWT. For drawing AWT uses screen rendering where Swing uses double buffering.
A heavyweight component is one that is associated with its own native screen resource (commonly known as a peer).