Feeds

Sun confirms all about 64-thread Niagara II

Crypto a-go-go

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Hot Chips Sun Microsystems will later today reveal the inner goo behind its Niagara II processor – the second chip in the company's "radical" multi-core line.

As it happens, we've acquired an early copy of the Niagara II presentation Sun plans to give this afternoon here at the Hot Chips conference. Sadly, the presentation is lacking on mind-altering, fresh details, if you're a regular Register reader.

Last December, we revealed that the Niagara II chip would have eight cores just like its predecessor, which Sun currently sells as the UltraSPARC T1. In addition, we pegged Niagara II as supporting twice the threads of the UltraSPARC T1, bringing it up to 64 threads, and shipping with one floating point unit per core as opposed to one floating point unit total. FB-DIMMs, two-way support, and 10 Gig-E? Yep, we got those suckers too, and Sun has confirmed them all in its presentation.

According to the latest documents, each Niagara II chip will ship with 8 cores, a 4MB shared L2 cache, four dual-channel FB-DIMM memory controllers, two 10 Gig-E ports and one PCI-E port. Each core also has a cryptographic acceleration unit with support for ciphers and hashes that can perform "free" encryption. The crypto unit runs in parallel with the main SPARC core at the same frequency.

True chip geeks might be interested to note the eight-stage pipeline – fetch, cache, pick, decode, execute, memory, bypass and writeback. Meanwhile, there's a 12-stage pipeline for the floating point unit. Sun has also added a host of reliability features to the new chip.

Sun managed to get Solaris up and running on a Niagara II box back in May and is looking for a third quarter of 2007 release of the chip.

Our sources also indicate that Niagara II will arrive at 1.4GHz and slot into two systems code-named Michigan and Huron. The 1U Michigan box will replace the 1U Sun Fire T1000 system and boast twice as much memory support - up to 64GB. Huron will be the 2U replacement for the Sun Fire T2000 and also double the memory support, stretching up to 128GB.

Sun then plans to ship up to four-way systems with the third generation of Niagara code-named Victoria Falls.

The UltraSPARC T1 chip has proved somewhat of a surprise hit for Sun. More than 300 customers have purchased systems based on the chip, helping Sun to $100m in revenue from the boxes during its last quarter. The chip is the most radical design that you'll find from a Tier 1 vendor as it makes a large commitment to the idea that many low-powered cores can perform better on certain software loads than fewer, faster cores.

Sun aims the UltraSPARC T1 boxes at web and application serving loads. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.