: Sun Integrates 64-Bit Chip into Servers"> Touting initial system costs and customer return on investments has taken on a prominent role in marketing of high-end systems in the past two years in response to a dramatic decline in IT spending tied to a weak U.S. economy. Sun, the worldwide market leader in sales of 64-bit systems, has seen its market share decline over the past year partly because of aggressive price competition from rival IBM, which has consistently touted its recently upgraded servers featuring its new Power 4 processors as offering more bang for the buck.To counter those attacks, Sun is touting the flexibility of its uniboard technology, unique among computer makers, as well as benchmarks highlighting the edge some of its products still hold over competitors. For example, in announcing the release of its 1.05GHz chips on Tuesday, Sun noted that a Sun Fire 15K equipped with the chips delivers nearly twice the performance of IBMs top-of-the-line 32-CPU p690 in the SPECjbb2000 benchmark, used to measure performance in handling Java-based applications. The 15K with the new chips also delivers to top performance on the TPC-H benchmark, a test designed to measure decision support systems that examine large volumes of data, execute queries with a high degree of complexity, and give answers to critical business questions. For the last four years, Sun has held the top spot among 64-bit system vendors, followed by Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM. But Suns market lead has eroded recently, partly because IBM upgraded its product line and successfully marketed its efforts, and also as a result of HPs acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp., which included the computer makers highly-regarded 64-bit NonStop Himalaya servers as well as its 64-bit AlphaServers.
More recently, Sun has come under fire from Intel Corp., which claims its newly released 1GHz Itanium 2 processor, featured in servers by various manufacturers, outperforms the much more costly Sun system configurations.