Sun sees a lot of cache in its future

UltraSPARCs gain weight

While Sun gets ready for the Rock, it's looking improve the near term performance of its UltraSPARC IV and UltraSPARC III processors.

Just this week, Sun introduced the UltraSPARC IV processor at speeds running between 1.05GHz and 1.2GHz. Now, officials are saying that its successor the UltraSPARC IV+ - aka Panther - will run twice as fast at its introduction next year. The future chip will also ship with Level 3 cache not present in current chips.

Similarly, the next-generation UltraSPARC IIIi+ processors will have four times the on-chip cache - 4MB - of current chips. Both the UltraSPARC IV+ and UltraSPARC IIIi+ will be built on a 90 -nanometer process by Texas Instruments. TI is using a 130-nanometer process for Sun's current chips.

The UltraSPARC IV processors tend to fall into Sun's high-end systems. By contrast, the UltraSPRC IIIi product makes its way into the lower-end gear and goes head to head with Xeon-based servers. ®

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