Feeds

Sun's Niagara is SPARC on Viagra

Providing a lift for an old instruction set

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Sun talked a little more about its CPU roadmap today, christening the ultra-dense multiple core SPARC technology it acquired from Afara Websystems last year "Niagara".

It also made a commitment that could come back to haunt it, if it fails to deliver: the first Niagara systems, said Sun, will offer 15 times more throughput than today's blades by 2005.

As we exclusively revealed here, Afara Websystems was established to explore ultra dense multiple-core systems based on the SPARC instruction set. Behind Niagara is chip guru Les Kohn, who was involved in the Intel i860 and i960 chips, and NatSemi's Swordfish. He previously served a spell at Sun designing UltraSPARC I.

Kohn still hasn't returned our call from last July, but David Yen was doing the speaking on behalf of Sun today at its analyst conference in San Francisco.

"High performance microprocessors are by no means at the commodity state," insisted Yen.

On page 46 of his presentation [here, 4.6MB PDF] is a reference to a future Niagara system that's described as a "SPARC systems processor" - a server on a chip with 30x the throughput of today's blades.

Sun believes that it's new processor design can fend off competition from cheap x86 boxen because they are more efficient CMT designs. Memory latency is not improving at the same rate as clock frequencies. Intel also believes this - all its mainstream processors are or soon will be multithreaded too. But Sun thinks its threading is more efficient, or efficient enough to stop users switching.

The multithreaded UltraSPARC V will debut in 2005 on .09 micron process, Yen said. He also said that UltraSPARC 7 will feature asynchronous circuitry. But you probably knew that already

Related Stories

Asynchronous processing, multiple cores in SPARC future
Ex-Intel, Sun chip guru brewing multichip SPARC

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.