Throughput Computing

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2004-07-15 Print this article Print

In lining up Thursdays meeting, both Ingram and Brian Sutphin, senior vice president of corporate development, said they wanted to clear up some confusion generated by the announcement, particularly around issues of what each company will development and build, and how the relationship will play out. Ingram said that between now and 2006, the two companies will continue building on their individual roadmaps—Sun with its UltraSPARC IV and IV+ systems, and Fujitsu with its SPARC64 V and V+ servers. The agreement calls for the APL line to run for about three to five years, with the possibility of continuing the partnership after that, Ingram said. Sun will develop a low-end and midrange line of servers based on its upcoming Niagara chip, the first of its throughput-computing processors that will feature on-chip networking and security features. Throughput computing is designed to enable the simultaneous processing of multiple tasks.
Fujitsu, of Tokyo, will create high-end servers—with up to 64 processors—based on a chip code-named Olympus coupled with an interconnect technology code-named Jupiter, Ingram said. Fujitsu will manufacture those chips, while Sun will continue its partnership with Texas Instruments Inc., which will manufacture Niagara.
Click here to read about Suns completion of the Niagara design. The two companies will share sales and marketing costs but will support whatever they sell themselves. In addition, while the APL servers each company sells will be identical, there probably will be differentiators between Sun and Fujitsu in what they offer with the systems, from the storage technology to the services surrounding them. Suns Rock will be a multithreaded processor that holds many cores on a single piece of silicon, aimed at such jobs as databases and ERP systems. Ingram said Rock will have to wait until Sun enters into a 65-nanometer manufacturing process, but that the partnership with Fujitsu will mean that systems powered by Rock processors could start appearing earlier than initially scheduled, although Ingram declined to give specific dates. Sun has revamped much of its server roadmap as it pushes its SPARC/Solaris architecture while trying to gain traction in the volume x86 space. The company precipitated the deal with Fujitsu by rolling out UltraSPARC IV in February, and two months later stopping development of UltraSPARC V and another chip, code-named Gemini. Earlier this year, Sun began rolling out servers powered by Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s 64-bit Opteron chip, which will run both x86 Solaris and Linux. Sun already has the two-way Sun Fire V20z and later this year will introduce a four-way system and blade servers based on Opteron. The development partnership between Sun and Fujitsu could grow beyond the APL systems, according to Sutphin. The companies have talked about a number of possibilities, including the x86 architecture, although no decisions have been made, he said. Check out eWEEK.coms Infrastructure Center at for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.


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