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Sun Microelectronics Hits Key Milestone in High-End UltraSPARC Development


Sun Microsystems, Inc., (NASDAQ: SUNW) today announced it has successfully booted the Solaris 10 operating system (OS) on its high-end “ROCK” SPARC processor for the first time. This important milestone comes ahead of schedule and within six weeks of Sun receiving its first shipment of prototype ROCK processors.

“Booting Solaris for the first time is a critical accomplishment in the development of our high-end, chip multithreading (CMT) technology,” said David Yen, executive vice president for Sun Microelectronics. “This keeps us on track to ship our first systems based on ROCK in the second half of 2008. These systems will bring unprecedented throughput to high-end enterprise applications—like ERP, CRM and large databases—and continue to keep Sun years ahead of the competition.”

The ROCK processor is a hexadeca-core (16-core) UltraSPARC implementation delivering unparalleled efficiencies for both single-threaded and multithreaded high-end applications. Sun is leading the way in high-throughput computing with the combination of SPARC, Solaris—which has long supported multithreaded hardware and applications—and Sun’s unique multithreaded networking technology.

ROCK represents Sun’s third generation of CMT processors, following the UltraSPARC T1 and upcoming Niagara 2 processors. UltraSPARC T1—with up to eight cores and four threads per core—is currently available in the Sun Fire T1000, T2000 and SPARC Enterprise systems. These systems, running the industry-leading Solaris 10 OS, vaulted Sun into a new league of performance and energy efficiency in late 2005. UltraSPARC T1-based systems now account for more than $100 million per quarter in Sun revenue and are helping Sun gain traction with new customers and in new markets. In March 2007, Sun Fire T1000 and T2000 cumulative sales passed the $500 million mark.

Systems based on the Niagara 2 processor are slated to become available in the second half of calendar 2007. The Niagara 2 processor will have up to eight threads per core and combines all major server functions on the processor itself, making it Sun’s first “system on a chip.” Niagara 2-based systems are expected to deliver twice the throughput of existing T1000 and T2000 systems.

About the Solaris Operating System

The free and open source Solaris operating system is the ideal strategic platform for enterprise customers, developers and Web 2.0 service providers. The result of a $500 million investment and thousands of engineer-years, Solaris 10 offers guaranteed binary compatibility with previous versions and source code compatibility between the SPARC and x64/x86 platforms. It has the largest installed base of any UNIX or Linux OS on the planet, is available on hundreds of platforms from commodity x64/x86 systems to mainframe-class UNIX systems and comes backed with Sun’s proven enterprise-class support services.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
A singular vision -- “The Network Is The Computer” -- guides Sun in the development of technologies that power the world’s most important markets. Sun’s philosophy of sharing innovation and building communities is at the forefront of the next wave of computing: the Participation Age. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web at


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