Sun's Chip Chief Departs

David Yen, who led the microelectronics division, will take a position with Juniper Networks.

David Yen, executive vice president of Sun Microsystems' Microelectronics Division, is leaving the original equipment manufacturer for a new position at Juniper Networks.

Yen's department comes less than a year after he helped bring Sun's UltraSPARC T2 processor - also known as Niagara 2 - onto the market. Sun announced that Yen left the company March 24 and will join Juniper in an unspecified position in April.


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Following Yen's departure, Mike Splain, a Sun Technology Fellow and senior vice president and chief technology officer of Sun Systems, will take over as acting head of the company's chip division.

The news comes as Sun begins rebuilding its chip division around both its UltraSPARC T1 and T2 processors and the company looks for larger markets and more partners for its microprocessor technologies. The company also recently reorganized its chip division with the goal of not only selling new technology but also allowing it to sell patents to other vendors.

On March 24, Sun announced that it had secured $44 million in federal funding to develop new processors that are connected with lasers instead of traditional copper wiring.

Sun announced earlier this year that its next major microprocessor in the UltraSPARC line - Rock - has been delayed until 2009.

Before heading up the Microelectronics division, Yen led the company's storage group. Yen had been with Sun for 20 years and held a number of positions in those two decades, including stints with the Scalable Systems Group, Enterprise Servers division and the Processor and Network Products Group.

Splain, who also has been with Sun for 20 years, has experience within the company's microelectronics, processor and networking divisions.