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Sun Microsystems Introduces UltraSPARC T1 CPU With CoolThreads Technology

Sun Microsystems announced the introduction of the UltraSPARC T1 CPU - formerly known as "Niagara" - patented CoolThreads chip multi-threading technology. The processor will debut in a new line of Sun Fire servers before the end of 2005. The company names the chip the "world's first Eco-responsible" processor, and says it could eliminate the number of Web servers in the world by half, slashing power requirements and having the same effect in reducing carbon dioxide emissions as planting one million acres of trees. Besides, each SPARC-based CoolThread processor uses less than half the energy of Intel Xeon or IBM Power processors at 70 watts.

The UltraSPARC T1 processor also features eight cores, each having four threads, for a total of 32 threads that work simultaneously. The chip also employs Sun's radical CMT processor architecture.

Breakthroughs in the UltraSPARC T1 Processor (according to Sun):

  • First massively-threaded processor with 32 systems on a 90 nanometer die: akin to a 9.6 GHz chip.
  • First to put the rack on a chip: Internal communications tasks right on the chip means less metal to move across for better energy efficiency and higher performance.
  • First to put four memory controllers on a chip.
  • Less than 70 watts power consumption.
  • Using Sun Studio 11, the convergence of all three of these innovative technologies (Solaris 10, Java and UltraSPARC T1 with Coolthreads) add up to one innovation.
  • Improves system security via crypto acceleration. UltraSPARC T1 uses lower compute cycles to do the same amount of crypto operations.

Sun plans to begin shipping the new line of Sun Fire servers with CoolThreads before the end of the year.

Source: Sun Microsystems

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