Feeds

Sun confirms all about 64-thread Niagara II

Crypto a-go-go

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
Disaster Recovery upstart joins DR 'as a service' gang
Quorum joins the aaS crowd with DRaaS offering
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.