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Sun Microsystems Expands Focus on Silicon Design


Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW) today announced the formation of a Microelectronics group to be led by executive vice president, Dr. David Yen. The Microelectronics group will oversee the developments in network, cryptography and high-performance computing and serve as a supplier to Sun’s existing Systems businesses, in addition to serving OEM customers across the globe. Yen, who previously led Sun’s Storage business will be succeeded by Jon Benson, a Sun senior vice president. Both Yen and Benson will report to Jonathan Schwartz, Sun president and CEO.

“The broad acceptance of the open source Solaris operating system running on Dell, HP and IBM hardware shows that Sun’s innovations have value and appeal beyond our own servers and storage products,” said Schwartz. “With numerous successes including the success of our UltraSPARC T1 processors fueling the growth of our chip multi-threaded servers, the tapeout of our Rock processors defining new terrain in high-productivity computing, and innovations like Project Neptune opening entirely new markets for our technology. Now is the time to fuel that same success with our Microelectronics products. As with our software, decoupling our silicon from a strict reliance on Sun’s systems raises our profile and opportunity globally.”

For more than 20 years Sun has been a leader in delivering world-class silicon designs, a competency that has proven instrumental in the competitive differentiation of generations of Sun products. Innovations expected from the new Microelectronics group will range from high-speed networking silicon designs to the next generation of open-sourced chip multi-threading processors.

Yen takes the lead of the Microelectronics group with 27 years of technology know-how, engineering vision and business management expertise. His key roles at Sun have included serving as vice president and general manager for Sun’s enterprise server business, executive vice president of processor and network products and executive vice president of scalable systems. In the last five years, Yen successfully refreshed the Company’s SPARC® processor-based server line, introduced the vision of throughput computing in the processor industry, and released the world’s first eco-friendly, multi-core/multi-thread, open-sourced microprocessor, the UltraSPARC T1. Yen has a Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering and holds three U.S. patents.

Benson takes the helm of Sun’s Storage business and will lead the evolution of Sun’s tape, SAN and archive solutions. As part of the leadership transition, Sun’s NAS and storage appliance portfolio—key intersection technologies between Systems and Storage—will move to John Fowler who manages Sun’s Systems business unit. By leveraging the expertise and processes used to build servers alongside Solaris, Sun is positioned to build ever more innovative, compelling and competitive products for the storage markets.

Benson, a 20-year veteran of the storage industry, most recently served as vice president of engineering for Sun’s virtual storage and tape solutions business. Previously, he was vice president and general manager of StorageTek’s overall tape business. In this role, he drove the architecture and development of Sun’s award-winning tape automation systems including the Sun StorageTek SL8500 and SL500 tape libraries for which he holds several patents. Benson has a degree in electrical engineering.

“The storage market continues to grow, in diversity and value, and Sun continues to drive innovations at the convergence of the computing, storage and networking markets,” adds Schwartz. “Only Sun has the ability to span the mainframe environment, with our legendary SL8500 libraries and crypto-ready T10000 tape drives, all the way through to the emerging market for open source NAS appliances, via the Solaris/ZFS-based Sun Fire x4500. We fully intend on leveraging those assets as we continue to raise our profile and presence in the global market for storage products.”


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