Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/08/03/ultrasparc_v_wears_extreme_threads/

UltraSPARC V wears extreme threads

Information Overdribble

By Andrew Orlowski

Posted in Channel, 3rd August 2001 17:48 GMT

Sun is looking at multithreading techniques for its next-but-one generation of RISC processor UltraSPARC V, the EE Times reports. Sun already uses the techniques in its MAJC processor.

Multithreading or SMT is the trick of making the processor appear to be several 'virtual processors'. The technique will be unveiled for the first time in x86 processors in Intel's Foster any day now, the culmination of Chipzilla's top-secret Project Jackson.

Jackson technology was due to be unveiled in June, but launch date is now so near, that even our closest friends at Intel partners are making "I can't talk - my mouth's full of toothpaste" gestures whenever we raise the subject.

Compaq killed off six years of SMT investment when Don Capellas canned the Alpha EV8 line earlier this year.
SMT increases parallelism but it's doubtful if either Jackson or USV will have the aggressive approach to threading in two new extreme processors. Mario Nemirovsky's XStream processor is being sold by Clearwater Networks, the first implementation of which is the CNP810SP.

Dan O'Neill, former head of Nat Semi's system on a chip business, is now CEO at Clearwater, and Nemirovsky is no longer with the company.

And we covered PACT Corp's extraordinary XPP processor here a few days ago.

We have a little history of SMT here. ®