Feeds

Sun commits to 4,6 and 8 core 'green' Niagara

Cool, hot box coming

Boost IT visibility and business value

Exclusive Sun Microsystems will soon launch its Niagara processor with four-, six- and eight-core versions of the chip and bill the product as a green computing wonder, according to documents obtained by The Register.

In early September, we revealed that Niagara would be sold as the UltraSPARC T1 and slot into servers called the Sun Fire T1000 and T2000. The new documents confirm this information and show that Sun has committed to shipping a four-core version of the chip along with the six-core and eight-core versions, as was predicted.

Sun will be able to spread up to 16 software threads across the four-core chip and up to 32 threads across the eight-core product. The company will also tout DDR2, chipkill and memory sparing support with the chips. The Niagara servers will have 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports as well.

The lower-end T1000 system looks to start at $3,000 and stretch up to $11,000, running on a 1.0GHz Niagara chip. It will have one PCI-E slot and room for one disk. The fatter T2000 will start at close to $8,000 and stretch up to $26,000 with 1.2GHz chips. It will have three PCI-E slots and two PCI-X slots and support up to four disks.

When Sun launches Niagara, it's expected to flog a new performance metric called SWaP - space, watts and performance. This is an indication of Sun's green computing marketing plans. The Niagara chips will start out at just 1.0GHz but should perform very well on web and application serving functions.

Sun will compare the Niagara servers - code-named Erie and Ontario - to IBM's x366 server that runs on Xeon chips from Intel. Sun reckons its kit provides 3.8x better performance per watt, while consuming 2.4x less power per rack. This could save customers $313,000 over three years for 100 servers, according to the Sun documents. In SWaP terms, Sun's system will be 5.8x better than the IBM box, but we don't imagine too many people to take the SWaP metric seriously.

Sun's CEO Scott McNealy this week said Niagara would arrive before year-end, although it wasn't clear if he meant that Sun was just going to announce the product or actually ship it. Sun has a notorious history of announcing products way ahead of their release, as evidenced most recently by the utility computing debacle.

Sun's PR staff have told reporters to expect a chip launch on Nov. 14. Sun also has a Dec. 6 event planned in the UK to unveil "new SunFire Throughput Servers," which are the Niagara systems in poor disguise. The UK event invite says that Sun will show the "World's Coolest Hot Box," which seems a bit dirty. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
Docker kicks KVM's butt in IBM tests
Big Blue finds containers are speedy, but may not have much room to improve
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp
Stats analysis reckons we'll hit that point in just three years
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.