Feeds

Ex-Intel, Sun chip guru brewing multichip SPARC

More on secretive Sun acquisition

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Sun Microsystems has a closer connection to Afara Websystems, its most recent acquisition, than we realized last week.

One of Afara's co-founders is Les Kohn, one of the designers of Intel's i860 and i960 RISC chips, NatSemi's 320xx Swordfish and the UltraSPARC-I.

The secretive start-up won't say what it's doing, but announcing the news last week Sun's VP of microprocessors and network products David Yen said that it was a SPARC licensee and would be unveiling "highly innovative" boxes quite soon.

The Silicon Valley rumor mill suggests that Afara has built a multi-chip, multi-processor SPARC chip for its new networking box.

This is an approach apparently adopted by almost all the network processor vendors, but Afara's will be distinguished by being the only high-end SPARC-based offering. Which makes it fairly unique. T.sqware (which was acquired by Globespan a couple of years ago) built a low-end SPARC derivative called SPARClet, which hasn't been seen since. (All Globespan Viridana's current processors appear to be ARM based).

"A multi-chip, multi-processor SPARC may not win any SPEC benchmarks, but it would likely do very well in both price/performance and power/performance comparisons in things like server blades," a Valley mole tell us.

Kohn worked for Intel from 1982 to 1989. Between leaving Sun in 1994 and starting Afara, Kohn was chief architect at C-Cube, designing digital video compression chips.

We left a message with the great man, but strongly suspect that we won't be hearing back. You don't get to wear the "secretive start-up" mantle by blabbing to the likes of us. ®

Related Story

Debian boost as Sun buys SPARC edge start-up

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
DEATH by COMMENTS: WordPress XSS vuln is BIGGEST for YEARS
Trio of XSS turns attackers into admins
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.