Record Benchmarks and Virtualization, Decoupled from Sun Servers, to Power
Third-Party Server, Storage and Networking Device Marketplace.
Sun Microsystems, Inc., today announced the world's fastest commodity
microprocessor, the UltraSPARC(R) T2, as the cornerstone of its merchant
portfolio of microelectronics. Available for sale separate from Sun's own
systems, this new processor is the industry's first volume processor with
eight cores and eight threads per core. Formerly known as the "Niagara 2"
project, the UltraSPARC T2's world-record performance raises the bar on
commodity processors while boasting the industry's highest energy
efficiency per thread. With each thread capable of running its own
operating system, the chip delivers a whopping 64-way system on a single
chip. Sun will provide the UltraSPARC T2 processor design to the free and
open source community via the GPL license.
"The market for commodity silicon and the devices they power is well
into the tens of billions of dollars," said David Yen, executive vice
president of Microelectronics for Sun. "The UltraSPARC T2 processor also
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. With UltraSPARC T2 technology, we
can bring the speed and scalability of chip multithreading into much wider
use-and provide welcome alternatives to companies that want commodity
economics without commodity performance."
"We're at a historic point in computing, moving away from sequential
processing to multicore designs," said Professor Dave Patterson, Pardee
Chair of Computer Science for the University of California at Berkeley.
"Hence, we need to invent new ways to evaluate these new parallel systems.
Our initial experiments suggest that Niagara 2 has the highest performance,
is the most power efficient and is the most 'software friendly' of the
processors we've tested."
The UltraSPARC T2 is the industry's first processor to bring together
the key functions of multiple systems-virtualization, processing,
networking, security, floating point units and accelerated memory access.
Integrating these elements on a single piece of silicon reduces cost and
increases performance, reliability and energy efficiency-making it the
superior choice for a diversity of workloads, from networking equipment to
high-performance computing or storage devices. As a general-purpose
processor, the UltraSPARC T2 also provides support for the massively
threaded, open source Solaris(TM) operating system, and other real-time
operating systems, as well as future versions of Ubuntu Linux, bringing a
massive community of developers and productivity to the growing market.
"We are excited about exploring the capabilities of the UltraSPARC T2
processor," said Mark Murphy, global alliances manager at Canonical, the
commercial sponsor of Ubuntu. "We certify Ubuntu on the SPARC architecture
as we believe it is at the forefront of what's possible in processing and
for many Ubuntu users this is of critical importance. UltraSPARC T2 shows
Sun continues to push the boundaries and we are proud to be alongside
pushing with them."
This next generation of the UltraSPARC family of processors also
extends its lead in eco performance, bringing Sun's revolutionary
CoolThreads(TM) chip multithreading (CMT) technology to the UltraSPARC T2
processor, powered by fewer than two watts per thread. At one-tenth to
one-thirtieth the power consumption of competitive offerings, the
UltraSPARC T2 processor sets the gold standard for green computing and
efficiency, combining the industry's lowest power consumption with double
the cores, 16 times the threads, 4 times the throughput, with on-chip
network and security functionality. Bottom line: The UltraSPARC T2
processor has the potential to save systems builders and their end users
millions of dollars on skyrocketing power, cooling and space expense.
A breakthrough in architectural design, the UltraSPARC T2 processor
delivers an unprecedented level of integrated system functions on a single
-- High-throughput processing - Eight cores and eight threads per core
accelerate throughput as shown by two world-record, single-chip SPEC
CPU scores, based on tests that delivered 78.3 est. SPECint_rate2006
and a 62.3 est. SPECfp_rate2006. The UltraSPARC T2 processor has twice
the thread count of Sun's UltraSPARC T1 processor, which recently set a
world record on ten Sun Blade(TM) T6300 Server Modules delivering
8253.21 SPECjAppServer2004 JOPS@Standard*
-- Networking - Dual, virtualizable, multithreaded 10 Gigabit-per-second
Ethernet ports with built-in packet classification ensure fast access
to networks and server-to-server communications
-- Security - Eight cryptographic acceleration units and a total of 10
independent functions address ever-heightening security needs,
including NSA-approved algorithms, without a performance penalty
-- Computation - Eight floating point units extend the benefits of CMT to
high-performance computing workloads for scientific applications;
world record single-chip SPECfp_rate2006 and world-record single-chip
-- Input/Output - Eight lanes of industry-standard PCI Express I/O speed
applications like streaming media, database read/write and data back-up
-- Memory access - Quad memory controllers deliver more than 50 Gigabytes-
per-second of memory access
-- Software support - The massively threaded Solaris OS takes excellent
advantage of the highly threaded processors and enables open and cost-
In production now, Sun's new UltraSPARC T2 processor offers more
consolidation and virtualization flexibility than any processor in its
class. With up to 64 logical domains per processor, customers can achieve
unprecedented levels of efficiency by consolidating many physically
separate systems onto a single UltraSPARC T2 processor-based platform.
Sun, the Open Source Leader
Having surpassed 5,500 downloads of the OpenSPARC(TM) T1 source code,
Sun is working to release source code for the UltraSPARC T2 processor to
the OpenSPARC community at http://www.opensparc.net. Today Sun is announcing the
following to give a head start to the development community around
-- A programmer's reference manual - Jumpstarts software ports, operating
system ports and tools development for OpenSPARC T2 projects
-- Microarchitecture specifications - Detailed description of the features
and functionalities of the OpenSPARC T2 hardware blocks help hardware
and system designers innovate and potentially create new applications
-- OpenSPARC T2 beta review - This program provides early access to a
limited number of hardware designers and tool developers to begin
working with the state-of-the-art CMT processor with system-on-a-chip
functionality. The program catalyzes the development of a community for
OpenSPARC T2, speeds the debugging process and leads to a better first
release of the technology
UltraSPARC T2 Availability
The UltraSPARC T2 processor is available in production quantities this
quarter, with prices starting well below $1,000, and licensing options wide
open for derivative works.
For more information about the UltraSPARC T2 processor, visit
http://www.sun.com/T2. For information about licensing Sun's Microelectronics
technology, go to http://www.sun.com/products/microelectronics.