Feeds

Sun's Rock chip waves goodbye to 2008 ship date

Shaky silicon eyes 2009

Application security programs and practises

You'll all be shocked to learn that Sun Microsystems appears set to delay the release of the Rock processor.

Word reached Vulture Central this week of troubles in the land of Rock. Sun hoped to ship the 16-core SPARC dynamo by the end of next year. Now, however, we're hearing that early versions of Rock have struggled to perform during testing. So now, Sun expects to ship the chip in the first half of 2009.

We asked Sun for comment on the delays and received this statement.

"Sun continues to evolve its systems portfolio on multiple fronts and early Rock chips are testing well in Sun's labs. Rock is an entirely new design and given its uniqueness and complexity, Sun is investing heavily to fully validate the chip and to do advanced testing on the entire hardware and software stack of future systems to be powered by Rock processors."

So, er, you're still committed to the 2008 delivery date then?

There's no "new guidance about timing at this point," a Sun spokeswoman told us.

Some Sun customers have received a different message. According to information obtained by El Reg, Sun representatives have been visiting select customer sites with an updated roadmap that shows Rock arriving in 2009.

In addition, a Dutch news outlet has a story quoting Sun's server chief John Fowler as saying the chip will ship in the second half of 2009. As we understand it, however, the date is an incorrect translation, and it should really be the second quarter of 2009.

Beyond the delays, we're told that Sun engineers have been forced to disable many of the more sophisticated features on early Rock test chips just to get the things to work.

All of this is very bad news for Sun, which had hoped to gain a major edge over rivals Intel and IBM by delivering an impressive Rock product to market at pace.

In the second half of 2008, Intel should release a four-core version of Itanium that includes an integrated memory controller and the QuickPath interconnect – two features which should show dramatic performance improvements. IBM will be banging away with its speedy Power6 chip and preparing a Power6+ upgrade.

The Rock design proves far more radical than either of Intel or IBM's products in that it's designed for heavily multi-threaded software and can support systems with immense amounts of memory.

Sun has a horrible history when it comes to shipping SPARC products on time. In fact, the UltraSPARC V chip was so late that Sun killed the project altogether and decided to ship servers based on chips from partner Fujitsu. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives
Oracle's Linux boss says Larry's Linux isn't just for Oracle apps anymore
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.