Sun Integrates 64-Bit Chip Into Servers

The 64-bit chip, which delivers about 15 percent more performance than its 900MHz predecessor, is now available in Sun's mid- to high-end servers.

Sun Microsystems Inc. today boosted the performance of its mid- to high-range servers with the integration of its fastest 64-bit processor yet, a 1.05GHz UltraSparc III.

The 64-bit chip, which delivers about 15 percent more performance than its 900MHz predecessor, is now available in the companys mid- to high-end servers, including the eight-way Sun Fire 3800, the 12-way 4800 and the 24-way 6800, the 52-way Sun Fire 12K and the top-of-the-line 15K, which comes in a 72-CPU enterprise configuration or a 106-CPU scientific-computing set-up.

Prices for the servers vary from just under $100,000 to well over $1 million for a fully loaded 15K.

Existing Sun customers also can tap the power of the new 1.05GHz chip while still leveraging their investment in older chips by taking advantage of the mixed-CPU support thats a key feature of its "uniboard" technology.

Uniboards are essentially individual modules in the server that house up to four processors each, along with accompanying memory and memory controllers. Uniboards, currently used in servers from the 3800 up to the 15K, are designed to be hot-swappable, meaning users can add or remove the modules without taking the server down. In addition, separate uniboards can be populated with chips running at different speeds.

As a result, a customer currently using a Sun Fire 3800 equipped with four 900MHz chips can upgrade the system by adding a second uniboard featuring the newest 1.05GHz processor.

Uniboards are also interchangeable among Suns servers, giving customers greater flexibility to adjust individual systems to meet varying business demands.

The uniboard technology, with its new 1.05GHz processors, is well-suited to meeting the increasing demands of todays corporate customers, a Sun representative said.

"Enterprises continue to run mission-critical, high-performance computing environments that need to be up and running 24x7. At the same time, IT managers running these data centers need to keep their costs down and make the most of their current investments," said Clark Masters, executive vice president and general manager of Enterprise Systems Products at Sun, based in Santa Clara, Calif. "We deliver new features and functionalities today, like support for mixed-speed CPUs on a single system, to help maximize system resources in ways that our customers not only save costs but also increase their return on investment."