Electronic Design

Sun Microsystems Announces Faster Chip

Sun Microsystems announced the release of UltraSPARC T2, a new version of the Niagara 2 processor that it claims is the "world's fastest commodity microprocessor." Twice as fast as its predecessor, the UltraSPARC is the industry's first volume processor with eight cores and eight threads per core, according to a release from Sun. With each thread capable of running its own operating system, the chip delivers a 64-way system on a single chip. "The UltraSPARC T2 processor 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," David Yen, executive vice president of Microelectronics for Sun, said in a statement. "With UltraSPARC T2 technology, we can bring the speed and scalability of chip multithreading into much wider use..." The UltraSPARC T2 processor is available in production quantities this quarter, with prices starting below $1,000. Sun will provide the UltraSPARC T2 processor design to the open-source community via the GPL license.

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