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UltraSPARC T2

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Epeidh kalo eivai va blepoume ti givete kai ektos tou x86 stratopaidou, para8etw to parakatw ar8ro.

Tosa xrovia kleidwmevoi sto keli x86 pragamtika xavoume polla.... kai olla ayta gia va paizoume paixvidia se windows... krima.

 

http://www.theregister.com/2007/08/28/sun_ultrasparc_t2_processor/

Sun has announced the UltraSPARC T2, which it has dubbed the world's fastest commodity microprocessor.

 

Formerly known as the "Niagara 2" project, the UltraSPARC T2 processor features eight cores and eight threads per core; dual, virtualizable, multithreaded 10 GBps Ethernet ports with built-in packet classification; eight cryptographic acceleration units; eight floating point units; eight lanes of PCI Express I/O; quad memory controllers that deliver more than 50 GBps memory access; and up to sixty-four logical domains. With each thread capable of running its own operating system, the chip delivers a 64-way system on a single chip.

Click here to find out more!

 

The UltraSPARC T2 is the first processor to integrate multiple systems-virtualization, processing, networking, security, floating point units, and accelerated memory access-onto a single piece of silicon. As a general-purpose processor, the UltraSPARC T2 also provides support for the massively threaded, open source Solaris operating system and other realtime operating systems, as well as future versions of Ubuntu Linux. In addition, the new processor features Sun's CoolThreads chip multithreading while drawing fewer than two watts per thread. Sun plans to release source code for the UltraSPARC T2 processor to the OpenSPARC community and the UltraSPARC T2 processor design to the open source community through the GPL license. The UltraSPARC T2 processor will be available in production quantities this quarter, with prices starting below $1,000, and licensing options for derivative works.

 

This announcement is important for a few reasons, perhaps the least of which is that this is Sun's latest and greatest processor. From a purely technical perspective, the T2 offers many substantial advances that will likely only grow in importance over time. The multicore, multithreaded reality of this processor is a harbinger of the future of software, especially in high-performance environments.

 

As the industry has learned, simply ramping up the clock rate of processors does not lead to efficiency, especially with respect to power consumption and heat dissipation. Although we are beginning to see tacit recognition of this fact at the hardware level as dual-core and quad-core processors are becoming increasingly common, most software is still of the single-threaded mold, and fails to take advantage of this new architectural approach. But as the reality of physics, power, and thermal dynamics settles in, we expect that industry will have no choice but to move in the same direction as the T2.

 

We are also intrigued by the number of formerly discreet external components/capabilities that are offered on the die with the T2. The native support for PCI Express as well as onboard cryptographic capabilities and other enhancements are well positioned to not only reduce the cost of systems built around the processor, but also to offer attractive performance for encryption-oriented workloads. Given all the fuss about compliance, and inadvertent disclosure of information and whatnot, having onboard cryptography that operates without massively slowing down performance lends credence to the concept of encrypting everything all the time. While an extreme approach to securing information, for some organizations, the ability to do so without the expenditure on additional off-board hardware or bearing intolerable delays with software-based solutions is an ability that we believe will be well received.

 

While Sun undoubtedly wants to position the T2 as a commodity chip, in the sense of the Athlon or Xeon, this notion at present requires the reader to take it with a grain of salt. However, in the future view, the direction presented by Sun in the T2 may become more mainstream than we might expect. Sun states that it believes that the UltraSPARC T2 processor makes possible a new breed of compact, power-efficient, highly integrated devices such as routers, switches, network devices, medical imaging, industrial printing, etc. From a technical perspective, this would seem quite true; from a market penetration perspective, the Copernican Company has its work cut out. Nevertheless, as the future-thinker that it is, Sun may well be able to pull off some of this. The T2 is another example of Sun's out-of-the-box, perhaps a bit off-the-beaten-path, approach to the marketplace. As history has shown, this approach is often the one that delivers the best ROI for Sun, and in the process its customers.

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Δίκιο έχεις.. αλλά....

 

Το ότι η τεχνολογία x86 έχει ένα σωρό περιορισμούς είναι γνωστό. Δυστυχώς για λόγους backward compatibility η εξέλιξη γίνεται μονίμως πάνω σε υπάρχουσα τεχνολογία.

Με την έλευση όμως λειτουργικών βασισμένων σε UNIX (π.χ. Linux) που είναι διαπλατφορμικό λειτουργικό, αυτό θα αλλάξει πιθανώς στο μέλλον...

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Έφτασε....

http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2008/04/09/sparc-servers-sun-fujitsu

 

SUN MICROSYSTEMS and Fujitsu have debuted new hardware offering based on Sunʼs UltraSPARC T2 chip. The companies are now selling the SPARC Enterprise T5140 and the T5240, two new servers which run on the updated UltraSPARC, AKA Niagara 2, under the Sun and Fujitsu brand names.

 

The new T5140 and T5240 both support two processors, giving Sun what it claims to be an edge in the multiprocessor (MP) market. The new chips which the company produced especially for MP servers have an additional bit of circuitry bunged into them to produce what Sun calls "cache coherency", which it says lets the chips talk to each other for better load balancing.

 

The firms say that the presence of two UltraSPARC chips means that they are now able to process 128 instructional threads at the same time on the 16 processing cores within each machine, leading to improved energy and space efficiency of data centres. The 128 threads are achieved using virtualisation technology that Sun has dubbed Solaris Containers and Logical Domains.

 

John Fowler, Sun's executive vice president for systems, told EWeek the company plans on adding to its Niagara-based line later this year with a two-socket blade server followed by a four-socket system offering as many as 256 compute threads.

 

Sun also reckons that its latest UltraSPARC-based systems offer customers an alternative to commodity x86 servers using Intel or AMD processors. Sun seemingly put more of a focus on performance rather than on simply increasing clock speeds (the UltraSPARC T2 runs at a leisurely 1.4GHz) by adding more cores and threads in order to lower latency and improve bandwidth.

 

Sun says that works out at about two-and-a-half to five times higher performance than a two-socket, Intel-based system and a five-fold improvement in price performance.

 

The company adds that the Niagara chipsʼ improved floating point capabilities and increased memory bandwidth will also help to push the company forward in the field of high-performance computing. µ

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Ο αντίπαλος:

 

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/04/09/BUBI10258F.DTL

 

IBM Corp. began shipping high-end computers Tuesday built around the fastest chip on Earth, a microprocessor that can carry out up to 5 billion instructions per second, surpassing the speediest competing processors built by rivals like Intel or Sun Microsystems.

 

The new IBM processor, called the Power6, was designed to run big-ticket, water-cooled machines that drive corporations or tackle scientific problems, but slower versions of this same family of chips are already being used in inexpensive, consumer devices like the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation.

 

Cranking up the speed is only one way to improve overall system performance, say chip experts from Intel and Sun, which have evolved different ways to coax more work from chips - and therefore stay competitive in the never-ending race to sell computers that do more and cost less.

 

But if a stopwatch were the only ranking system, the 5-billion-instructions-per second Power6 processor from IBM would beat such rivals as the 3.73 gigahertz Pentium Extreme and the 2.4 gigahertz UltraSparc T2 from Sun.

 

"It's hard to make the average person understand just how fast this is," said IBM Chief Technology Officer Bernard Meyerson, offering an example meant to explain his company's baby that still leaves the listener awed with the speediness of the two "laggards."

 

"Hold your index finger out in front of your face," Meyerson said in a telephone interview from IBM headquarters in New York. In less time than it would take a beam of light to travel from your knuckle to your fingertip, the new IBM chip would complete one task and start looking for the next, he said.

Light would presumably have to travel more than a finger's length to get each task done on the slower processors from Intel and Sun - and at billions-of-cycles per second, slow is a bit of a misnomer.

 

Then why don't Intel and Sun just crank up the speed? Well, just as is the case with cars, the faster chips run, the hotter they get, and IBM has created water-cooling systems akin to the radiators in cars to keep its processors from overheating. Not doing so, Meyerson quipped, "results in setting fire to the user, which is bad."

 

Intel spokesman George Alfs said his company, which sells millions upon millions of processors for all sorts of stuff like laptops, where lugging around a water jug would be a chore, said there's no technical reason why Intel chips can't run faster.

 

In fact, Alfs said, sophisticated game enthusiasts buy water-cooling kits that they fit into desktop PCs, then use software tricks inside the Windows operating system to crank up their own speeds into the 5 gigahertz range.

 

"But that can void your warranty," Alfs said.

 

Sun spokesman Mark Richardson took umbrage at the focus on speed. "It's an easier marketing message to deliver to say that faster gigahertz means a faster processor," he said. His colleague, chip expert Fadi Azhari, explained how the Mountain View firm uses a different technical trick, called multithreading, to make a computer faster but not hotter.

 

Imagine a long line of airport passengers waiting for the ticket agent to check them in, Azhari said. The IBM speed trick would have that ticket agent working faster and faster - with maybe a blower overhead to cool the agent down. But multithreading would be like putting two or more ticket agents on duty, which is another less-heat-intensive approach to processing, he said.

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Μετά την αγορά της sun από την oracle τέρμα τα λάχανα…

Sun Is Said to Cancel Big Chip Project

 

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/15/sun-is-said-to-cancel-big-chip-project/

 

… According to two people briefed on Sun’s plans, the company has canceled its Rock chip project, putting an end to one of its biggest revitalization bets...

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