* Posts by Venkatesh

1 post • joined 17 Dec 2007

Sun's Rock chip waves goodbye to 2008 ship date


Beliefs and facts, buy a low power, multi-thread CPU from Sun....

> Assumption: Only IBM and Intel can make/design chips/CPU's

> Fact: Sun niagara chip N1 has sold better than Itanium, new N2 is

ramping up strong. If Sun can make/design N1 & N2 this implies that they

make and design CPU's. Where the design of Sun chips is industry

leading. Go buy one from Sun if you believe they cannot make one.

The N1 has sold well but so has Xeon processors from Intel; per core the performance or complexity of the T1 chip is pathetic - it does great of edge applications but not so hot on core applications such as database serving due to it small cache size; the T2 is an improvement but it has still not addressed this issue. The T1 also had a single FP unit (shared across all 8 cores) which resulted in poor FP performance which required by most commerical applications and HPC kind of applications. To the point; just because it sold in huge quantities it does not make it a great processor - by that logic x86 Xeons would be the best processor out there. PS the real competition to the US-T1 was the x86 processor and not the Itanium2 9000 or POWER 5+/Power6.

> Assumption: Intel superior architecture

> Fact: Every system has it's place and different purpose. Intel does not

have the mult-core or on CPU encryption & ethernet of Sun. Sun does

not have the smaller die size of Intel.

Intel does in fact have multicore processors; on chip accelerators for ethernet or encryption is not a current requirement of x86 Xeon market space or that of Itanium. This is not terrible difficult to implement but requires real estate on the chip so the trade off designers have to make is the value of these functions to the cost in real estate on the chip.

> IBM and Sun started with multi-core chips.

No, IBM came out with the first commerical multi-core chips in 2001 with lots of features which Sun is still to incorporate in its processors including Simulataneous multithreading (running 2 independent threads through a single processor core on each clock cycle), a distributed intrerprocessor switch (which scales system bandwidth with the clock speed of the processor and / or with the number of processors in the server) a full 6 years later.

# Is Sun a strong competitor? Yes.

# Will they survive? Yes.

# Will they revolutionize the world with their processor designs? Maybe not.


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