New Sun Opteron workstation coming at JavaOne

Sun plans to unveil a new workstation based on Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron processor next week at its JavaOne trade show.

The machine is code-named Marrakesh, sources familiar with the product said. In a media advisory, Sun said prices for the machine will start at $895.

Sun for years sold computers only using Sparc processors such as its current UltraSparc IV, but in 2002 began embracing x86 chips such as Intel's Xeon and Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron. Sun didn't design its current Opteron products, but that's changing now with the acquisition of Kealia and the resulting return of Sun's first computer engineer, Andy Bechtolsheim.

"You can thank John Doerr for that," Sun Chief Executive Scott McNealy said of Bechtolsheim's return in an interview Wednesday. Doerr is a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and a Sun board member.

Sun's new line of Opteron servers, code-named Galaxy systems are due out by the end of 2005. The new workstation isn't of the Galaxy lineage, however.

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Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.


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