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Fujitsu vows to carry Sun with four-core SPARC

Jupiter rises in 2008

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Fujitsu today spilled new details on the upcoming versions of its SPARC processor that will slot into future servers built by the company and Sun Microsystems.

One of the main new chips disclosed by Fujitsu is the SPARC64 VI+ chip – code-named Jupiter – that will ship in 2008. The processor, built on a 65nm process, will run at 2.7GHz and have four cores, said Takumi Maruyama of Fujitsu’s enterprise server division here at the Fall Processor Forum.

Each of the Jupiter cores can handle two software threads, meaning that the chip as a whole can run 8 threads in parallel. In addition, the four cores share a “large L2 cache” and connect to the rest of the chip via a “Jupiter” bus. The die size for the beast should be close to 460 sq. mm.

The Jupiter chip has the same basic core structure as its predecessor code-named Olympus. And both chips should run in the same servers.

The Olympus chip – or SPARC64 VI - ships in late 2006 as a dual-core product with each core running at 2.4GHz. This processor will sit in the APL line of servers being built by Fujitsu and Sun and replace Sun’s line of UltraSPARC processors for midrange to high-end systems.

Customers can expect Olympus to have 540m transistors and consume at max 120 watts. The chip also uses the Jupiter Bus.

Sun will continue to make systems using UltraSPARC-based designs on the lower-end of its server line. These boxes will run on the “Niagara” family of products that should start arriving this year. In addition, Sun intends to ship the “Rock” family of processors in 2008 that could serve as a type of replacement to the Fujitsu products, although Sun has provided little detail on the Rock chips to date.

Sun and Fujitsu already resell each others’ servers and share system development costs. This has helped the companies compete against the deep pockets of rivals IBM and Intel. ®

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