Sun Microsystems Enters Commercial Silicon Market With World's Fastest Commodity Microprocessor

Record Benchmarks and Virtualization, Decoupled from Sun Servers, to Power

Third-Party Server, Storage and Networking Device Marketplace

Aug 07, 2007, 01:00 ET from Sun Microsystems, Inc.

    SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sun Microsystems,
 Inc., (Nasdaq:   SUNW) today announced the world's fastest commodity
 microprocessor, the UltraSPARC(R) T2, as the cornerstone of its merchant
 portfolio of microelectronics. Available for sale separate from Sun's own
 systems, this new processor is the industry's first volume processor with
 eight cores and eight threads per core. Formerly known as the "Niagara 2"
 project, the UltraSPARC T2's world-record performance raises the bar on
 commodity processors while boasting the industry's highest energy
 efficiency per thread. With each thread capable of running its own
 operating system, the chip delivers a whopping 64-way system on a single
 chip. Sun will provide the UltraSPARC T2 processor design to the free and
 open source community via the GPL license.
     "The market for commodity silicon and the devices they power is well
 into the tens of billions of dollars," said David Yen, executive vice
 president of Microelectronics for Sun. "The UltraSPARC T2 processor also
 makes possible a new breed of compact, power-efficient, highly integrated
 devices-going beyond servers to routers, switches, network devices, medical
 imaging, industrial printing and more. With UltraSPARC T2 technology, we
 can bring the speed and scalability of chip multithreading into much wider
 use-and provide welcome alternatives to companies that want commodity
 economics without commodity performance."
     "We're at a historic point in computing, moving away from sequential
 processing to multicore designs," said Professor Dave Patterson, Pardee
 Chair of Computer Science for the University of California at Berkeley.
 "Hence, we need to invent new ways to evaluate these new parallel systems.
 Our initial experiments suggest that Niagara 2 has the highest performance,
 is the most power efficient and is the most 'software friendly' of the
 processors we've tested."
     The UltraSPARC T2 is the industry's first processor to bring together
 the key functions of multiple systems-virtualization, processing,
 networking, security, floating point units and accelerated memory access.
 Integrating these elements on a single piece of silicon reduces cost and
 increases performance, reliability and energy efficiency-making it the
 superior choice for a diversity of workloads, from networking equipment to
 high-performance computing or storage devices. As a general-purpose
 processor, the UltraSPARC T2 also provides support for the massively
 threaded, open source Solaris(TM) operating system, and other real-time
 operating systems, as well as future versions of Ubuntu Linux, bringing a
 massive community of developers and productivity to the growing market.
     "We are excited about exploring the capabilities of the UltraSPARC T2
 processor," said Mark Murphy, global alliances manager at Canonical, the
 commercial sponsor of Ubuntu. "We certify Ubuntu on the SPARC architecture
 as we believe it is at the forefront of what's possible in processing and
 for many Ubuntu users this is of critical importance. UltraSPARC T2 shows
 Sun continues to push the boundaries and we are proud to be alongside
 pushing with them."
     This next generation of the UltraSPARC family of processors also
 extends its lead in eco performance, bringing Sun's revolutionary
 CoolThreads(TM) chip multithreading (CMT) technology to the UltraSPARC T2
 processor, powered by fewer than two watts per thread. At one-tenth to
 one-thirtieth the power consumption of competitive offerings, the
 UltraSPARC T2 processor sets the gold standard for green computing and
 efficiency, combining the industry's lowest power consumption with double
 the cores, 16 times the threads, 4 times the throughput, with on-chip
 network and security functionality. Bottom line: The UltraSPARC T2
 processor has the potential to save systems builders and their end users
 millions of dollars on skyrocketing power, cooling and space expense.
     A breakthrough in architectural design, the UltraSPARC T2 processor
 delivers an unprecedented level of integrated system functions on a single
     -- High-throughput processing - Eight cores and eight threads per core
        accelerate throughput as shown by two world-record, single-chip SPEC
        CPU scores, based on tests that delivered 78.3 est. SPECint_rate2006
        and a 62.3 est. SPECfp_rate2006. The UltraSPARC T2 processor has twice
        the thread count of Sun's UltraSPARC T1 processor, which recently set a
        world record on ten Sun Blade(TM) T6300 Server Modules delivering
        8253.21 SPECjAppServer2004 JOPS@Standard*
     -- Networking - Dual, virtualizable, multithreaded 10 Gigabit-per-second
        Ethernet ports with built-in packet classification ensure fast access
        to networks and server-to-server communications
     -- Security - Eight cryptographic acceleration units and a total of 10
        independent functions address ever-heightening security needs,
        including NSA-approved algorithms, without a performance penalty
     -- Computation - Eight floating point units extend the benefits of CMT to
        high-performance computing workloads for scientific applications;
        world record single-chip SPECfp_rate2006 and world-record single-chip
        SPECompM2001 scores
     -- Input/Output - Eight lanes of industry-standard PCI Express I/O speed
        applications like streaming media, database read/write and data back-up
     -- Memory access - Quad memory controllers deliver more than 50 Gigabytes-
        per-second of memory access
     -- Software support - The massively threaded Solaris OS takes excellent
        advantage of the highly threaded processors and enables open and cost-
        effective virtualization
     In production now, Sun's new UltraSPARC T2 processor offers more
 consolidation and virtualization flexibility than any processor in its
 class. With up to 64 logical domains per processor, customers can achieve
 unprecedented levels of efficiency by consolidating many physically
 separate systems onto a single UltraSPARC T2 processor-based platform.
     Sun, the Open Source Leader
     Having surpassed 5,500 downloads of the OpenSPARC(TM) T1 source code,
 Sun is working to release source code for the UltraSPARC T2 processor to
 the OpenSPARC community at Today Sun is announcing the
 following to give a head start to the development community around
 OpenSPARC T2:
     -- A programmer's reference manual - Jumpstarts software ports, operating
        system ports and tools development for OpenSPARC T2 projects
     -- Microarchitecture specifications - Detailed description of the features
        and functionalities of the OpenSPARC T2 hardware blocks help hardware
        and system designers innovate and potentially create new applications
     -- OpenSPARC T2 beta review - This program provides early access to a
        limited number of hardware designers and tool developers to begin
        working with the state-of-the-art CMT processor with system-on-a-chip
        functionality. The program catalyzes the development of a community for
        OpenSPARC T2, speeds the debugging process and leads to a better first
        release of the technology
     UltraSPARC T2 Availability
     The UltraSPARC T2 processor is available in production quantities this
 quarter, with prices starting well below $1,000, and licensing options wide
 open for derivative works.
     For more information about the UltraSPARC T2 processor, visit For information about licensing Sun's Microelectronics
 technology, go to
     About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
     A singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer"(TM)--guides Sun in
 the development of technologies that power the world's most important
 markets. Sun's philosophy of sharing innovation and building communities is
 at the forefront of the next wave of computing: the Participation Age. Sun
 can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web at
     * All SPEC CPU metrics quoted are from full "reportable" runs, but are
       nevertheless designated as "estimates" because they use preproduction
       systems. SPEC, SPECint, SPECfp, SPECjAppServer and SPEComp are
       registered trademarks of Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation.
       Results from as of August 6, 2007. Sun UltraSPARC
       T2 @1.4GHz (64 threads, 8 cores, 1 chip) 78.3 est. SPECint_rate2006,
       62.3 est. SPECfp_rate2006. Ten Sun Fire T6300 (80 cores, 10 chips) and
       one Sun Fire E6900 (48 cores, 24 chips) 8253.21 SPECjAppServer2004
       JOPS@Standard, SPECompMbase2001/SPECompMpeak2001 (63 OpenMP threads, 64
       threads, 8 cores, 1 chip): 14230 (est)/ 15081 (est).
     Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Sun Microelectronics, Sun Fire,
 Solaris, CoolThreads and "The Network Is The Computer" are trademarks or
 registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc., in the United States and
 in other countries. All SPARC trademarks are used under license and are
 trademarks or registered trademarks of SPARC International, Inc., in the
 United States and other countries. Products bearing SPARC trademarks are
 based upon an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc. Intel Xeon
 is a trademark or registered trademark of Intel Corporation or its
 subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.
     This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding Sun's
 beliefs and expectations, including statements regarding the availability
 and licensing options of the UltraSPARC T2 microprocessor, potential
 customer cost savings associated with the UltraSPARC T2 microprocessor and
 Sun's intent to, and progress in, distributing UltraSPARC T2 intellectual
 property to the open source community. These forward-looking statements
 involve risks and uncertainties and actual results could differ materially
 from those predicted in any such forward-looking statements. Factors that
 could cause Sun's actual results to differ materially from those contained
 in such forward-looking statements include: risks associated with
 developing, designing, manufacturing and distributing new products; lack of
 success in technological advancements; pricing pressures; lack of customer
 acceptance of new products; the possibility of errors or defects in new
 products; competition; adverse business conditions; failure to retain key
 employees; the cancellation or delay of projects; Sun's reliance on
 single-source suppliers; risks associated with Sun's ability to purchase a
 sufficient amount of components to meet demand; inventory risks; risks
 associated with Sun's international customers and operations; delays in
 product development or customer acceptance and implementation of new
 products and technologies; Sun's dependence on significant customers and
 specific industries; and Sun's dependence on channel partners. Please also
 refer to Sun's periodic reports that are filed from time to time with the
 Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form
 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2006 and its Quarterly Reports on
 Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarters ended October 1, 2006, December 31, 2006
 and April 1, 2007. Sun assumes no obligation to, and does not currently
 intend to, update these forward-looking statements.
     For more information, contact:
      Joanne Kisling
      Sun Microsystems, Inc.
      (650) 786-7737

SOURCE Sun Microsystems, Inc.