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Oracle releases a 16-core SPARC chip

Keeps the brand alive
Wed Sep 22 2010, 13:27

AT ITS ANNUAL SHOW in San Francisco, Oracle has launched its first rebranded Sun SPARC chip, the T3, pitched at mission critical applications.

Many had wondered what Oracle was going to do with Sun's legendary line of hardware given that the firm made its fortune from software and services. It seems that, for now, Orache is rebadging Sun's famous SPARC chip, with the T3 the first to be brought out with an Oracle badge on it.

The T3 chip is a 1.67GHz, 16-core processor with eight threads per core coupled to 6MB of Level 2 cache. As for pricing, it's one of those things that if you have to ask, you probably can't afford it. In fact, Oracle points to its partners that flog complete systems rather than selling chips separately.

Oracle said that the T3 can be slotted into single chip blade servers or a 64-core, 512 thread multiprocessing behemoth that takes up just five rack units. However, Oracle hasn't released information on the chip's power usage, a factor that is driving the adoption of new technology in datacentres.

Oracle, like Sun before it, prefers to promote Solaris as the operating system of choice on SPARC machines, though there are alternatives. Linux and to some degree FreeBSD support the architecture, though 64-bit support can be patchy.

Regardless of whether you can afford the kit or not, it's nice to see Oracle keeping alive an iconic processor brand from the 1980s, at least for now. µ


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