The enhanced SPARC64 VII processors from Sun and Fujitsu offer 25 percent better performance than previous version as well as an upgraded memory controller. The announcement of the new chips comes as Oracle and Sun host Oracle OpenWorld and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison challenges IBM in the hardware business. Oracle is still awaiting approval from European regulators on its proposed $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun.
Sun Microsystems and Fujitsu are rolling out new SPARC64 VII
processors and an enhanced memory controller that officials with both
companies say will offer enterprises a 25 percent performance boost
over previous versions of the chips.
The new quad-core SPARC64 processors, announced Oct. 13, provide
mainframe-class computing at a lower cost than IBM technologies,
according to John Fowler, executive vice president of Sun's Systems
The announcement comes less than two days after Oracle CEO Larry
Ellison told an audience at the Oracle OpenWorld show in San Francisco
that Oracle-which is in the process of buying Sun for $7.4 billion-will
keep Sun's hardware business and is targeting IBM
Fowler and other Sun executives were on stage at the keynote address
Oct. 11, marking the first time the two companies have jointly hosted
Oracle's bid to buy Sun was delayed when the European Commission,
the antitrust arm of the European Union, announced in August that it
was expanding its investigation
of the deal. Executives for both companies hope to get the EC's blessing by the end of the year.
The new SPARC64 chips and enhanced memory controller mark one of the
few new-product announcements Sun has made since Oracle announced in
April its intention of buying the company.
The SPARC Enterprise M4000 and M5000 processors run at 2.53GHz,
while the M8000 and M9000 run at 2.88GHz, according to Sun and Fujitsu.
All four offer greater single-thread and overall system performance,
while the upgraded memory controller in the M8000 and M9000 improves
throughput in systems running memory-intensive workloads.
"Our SPARC Enterprise services with the Solaris OS offer a
compelling combination of mainframe-class performance and reliability
as well as virtualization and consolidation capabilities in an open
system," Fowler said in a statement. "The update we're announcing today
makes it possible for customers to increase performance of
mission-critical enterprise applications while capitalizing on existing
infrastructure investments with upgrades at half the cost of IBM."
Sun and Fujitsu officials noted that, as with previous processors,
the new chips can run in older SPARC Enterprise servers, and also offer
virtualization capabilities through Dynamic Domains and Solaris
They also stressed the integration of Oracle's Database with Sun's
Solaris 10's dynamic memory management capabilities, and noted the
SPARC Enterprise servers' performances on several benchmarks.
Ellison has tweaked IBM
reiterating in a full-page newspaper advertisement in September that
Oracle plans to keep Sun's hardware business and increasing investments
in innovating and selling the products. The ad also challenged IBM,
saying Oracle was looking forward to competing with the technology
IBM and Hewlett-Packard both have aggressively pursued Sun hardware
customers who may be have questions around Oracle's commitment to the
Sun hardware business.