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Sun's Upcoming Niagra Chip

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  • bascule
    Sun's big problem at this point in time was relying solely on TI as their fabricator (which is who they've been using since the '80s) TI just don't want to invest the R&D money into better fabrication techniques, and they're still fabricating processors using an antequated .13 micron process. Sun's only recourse has been to install better fans and ventilation on their newer systems, but regardless, prtdiag on a Blade 2000 is scary:

    Now, keep in mind this is the IDLE temperature:

    ==================================== CPUs ====================================
    CPU Freq Size Implementation Mask Die Amb. Location
    --- -------- ---------- ------------------- ----- ---- ---- --------
    0 900 MHz 8MB SUNW,UltraSPARC-III+ 2.3 80C 26C +-board/cpu0
    1 900 MHz 8MB SUNW,UltraSPARC-III+ 2.3 76C 25C +-board/cpu1

    Yes, that's right, 80C when idle... Blade 1000s and 2000s have two incredibly massive (120mm?) fans designed to exhaust heat from the system when it's under considerable load.

    Supposedly Sun has been in closed door talks with Fujitsu regarding not only selling SPARC64-based systems, but outsourcing their fabrication to Fujitsu rather than TI. Fujitsu is currently using a .11 micron process for the SPARC64 V and is ready to move to 90nm, following similar moves by IBM, Intel, and soon AMD.

    This will be a real boon for Sun...

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  • Mr. Peabody
    started a topic Sun's Upcoming Niagra Chip

    Sun's Upcoming Niagra Chip

    Sun's dual-core UltraSparc IV can handle two simultaneous threads. Another chip, code-named Niagara, will be able to handle 32 simultaneous threads using eight cores that can each handle four threads, but it won't be able to execute a single thread at maximum speed.

    Sun's UltraSparc IV is expected to double the speed of it's current chip offering. The Niagra chip is expected to double the UltraSparc IV. Slated for release in Summer of next year shows that Sun is really putting the pedal to the metal to pass Intel and IBM's aggressive hold on the CPU market.