Sun unveiled the name on Monday as part of an event devoted to the company's emphasis on computing equipment that consumes less power than current technology, a big problem for customers grappling with electricity bills, as well as heating and cooling issues.; a likely launch time is Sun's quarterly Network Computing event on Dec. 6 in New York.
The UltraSparc T1 runs at 1.2GHz and consumes less than 72 watts, said Fadi Azhari, a marketing director for Sun's Scalable Systems group. That maximum power consumption is less than the and a maximum of 95 watts for a mainstream dual-core Opteron from Advanced Micro Devices.
The T1 has eight independent processing engines, called cores, each able to simultaneously execute four instruction sequences, called threads. Sun also has applied a trademark to this aggressive multithreading approach, calling it CoolThreads.
With the multicore, multithreaded approach, the chip can perform many tasks simultaneously. For higher-end jobs requiring fast single-thread performance, Sun plans to release a cousin to the T1, code-named Rock, in 2008.
Sun is trying to reverseby rebuilding its server line from scratch. Along with its Sparc models--UltraSparc T1; a successor called Niagara II that can work in multiprocessor servers; and Rock--Sun also has embraced Opteron in its . The x86 machines can run Windows and Linux as well as Sun's Solaris, the only operating system available for the Sparc family.
, which earlier had been due to arrive in 2006. Sun is gearing the systems for lower-end network-intensive tasks such as serving Web pages and running Java application server software.
Although Niagara has eight cores,as well. Those parts aren't separate designs, but rather are eight-core chips in which not all of the cores work. As six- or four-core chips, however, the processors are completely functional because the defects exist only in the disabled cores. Chip manufacturers have used this technique for years to repackage high-end chips with slight, but avoidable, defects.
Sun plans two Niagara systems, the.