Thursday, August 16, 2007

UltraSparc T2 with integrated Network I/O

Although I do not follow hot chips, and have never blogged about microprocessors, I would love to talk about Sun's UltraSparc T2 launched last week, the first microprocessor ever to support an integrated network I/O support. Yes, UltraSparc T2 which I would prefer to call by its moniker Niagara 2, supports multithreaded dual 10 Gig Ethernet. From product brochures, this chip seems to be a true microsystem, just connect this to RAM and you get it running.

Although Sun has only mentioned some CPU intensive benchmarks such as SPEC int and SPEC float, may be they come up with some network I/O oriented benchmark numbers as well.

Also Sun is releasing all design documents under the GPL license. Wonder what that means? Can someone take up all the technical documentation and fab a chip independently? How does open sourcing work in the hardware market, does it help in added growth, or is this simply a propganda by Sun to get more interest in this chip, and new buyers thereby.

Sun's CEO Jonathan Schwatrz writes a very interesting blog, one of the best by public company CEO. JOnathan stresses that he thinks about Niagara 2 as a commodity, and Sun MicroElectronics division is encouraged to see the chip independent of Sun systems, and to even competitors of Sun. Interesting and encouraging indeed :)

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