Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sun coming up with its own 10 Gig Ethernet chip

Well this news is a surprise to me. Sun is coming up with its own 10 Gig Ethernet chip, which is called Neptune. Apparently, this is the first time that Sun is coming up with its own ASIC interface card. Neptune will be optimized for multithreaded applications and will be designed to work well with multicore chipsets.

Sun has already been working with Neterion and using Neterion's adapters in its Sun Fire servers, but I guess the performance has not been upto Sun's standards, which is making Sun come up with its own chipsets. According to this news report Sun believes it can achieve 4 times better performance with its own ASIC for the Niagara chipset. This report also mentions Neptune will intelligently allocate threads to the correct cores on the eight core, 32-threaded Niagara processor and will also head-of-line blocking problems. Neptune will support dual and quad-port Ethernet connections running at 10 or 1Gbit/second in a single PCI Express card.

Sun is also coming up with its next generation processor to Niagara called "Rock" which will be released sometime in 2008. With the standardization efforts of 100 Gig Ethernet, I believe Sun wants to enter the adapter market, which is very important for it to deliver high-performance servers.

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