Jonathan Schwartz, president of Sun Microsystems, announced on Feb. 14 at the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco that Sun is releasing its UltraSPARC Architecture 2005 and HyperVisor API specifications to open source under the GPL.
This new open-source project is called OpenSPARC.
Sun is making this move to help jumpstart the porting of Linux, BSD and other operating systems, middleware and applications to its UltraSPARC T1 processor.
The T1, formerly known as Niagara, is Suns newest processor.
It is designed to handle data center loads while reducing power requirements to 70 watts.
It has eight cores and, with CoolThreads, 32 threads.
The UltraSPARC architecture code consists of the chips microcode and, in particular, its CoolThreads multi-threading code.
The HyperVisor API will enable users to run multiple operating systems as virtual machines on the T1.