Feeds

Sun's Rock chip waves goodbye to 2008 ship date

Shaky silicon eyes 2009

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes
4TB of home storage is great, until you wake up to a dead device
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Intel offers ingenious piece of 10TB 3D NAND chippery
The race for next generation flash capacity now on
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.