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Sun Brings Innovative Sun Small Programmable Object Technology (SPOT) Sensors to Open Source Community; Expands Program to Educational Institutions Around the Globe


Open sourcing, new pricing and grant programs make Sun SPOTs attractive to educators, researchers and developers of environmental, robotic, and embedded computing applications
SANTA CLARA, CA January, 2008 Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAVA) today announced open sourcing of the Sun Small Programmable Object Technology (Sun SPOT), a Sun Microsystems Laboratories research project. The open source release of the versatile Java technology-based Sun SPOT platform will include hardware, software and the Squawk Virtual Machine. In addition, Sun announced discounted educational pricing for the Sun SPOT Java Development Kit (JDK) software as well as the expansion of Sun SPOT JDK software availability to more than 35 countries. The new educational pricing structure and expanded Sun SPOT availability provides new and exciting opportunities for innovation and the creation of Java technology-based wireless sensor and embedded applications by the global Sun SPOT community.

“We created this technology to inspire students and educators to develop new, creative and useful applications -- it’s the core of Sun’s vision for Project Sun SPOT,” said Roger Meike, research director at Sun Microsystems Laboratories. “Our decision to open source Sun SPOTs under a GPL V2 license reflects our commitment to support our growing community of developers, and our new pricing will enable educational institutions to bring this technology to students worldwide. Innovation happens everywhere and Sun is excited to be delivering new tools and technologies that will both inspire and facilitate development within new communities.”

Sun SPOTs are already being featured in curricula from grade school through graduate programs. The new educational pricing for the Sun SPOT JDK software provides educators with an affordable platform to use in the classroom for hands-on experimentation and embedded application development in fields from robotics to biology.

“We are currently testing our solar powered Sun SPOTs in the Cocobolo Nature Reserve in Panama to research and implement a wireless sensor network and geographic information system (GIS) on the 1,000-acre reserve,” David Abernathy, professor of geography at Warren Wilson College said. “The flexibility and versatility of the Sun SPOT platform has greatly facilitated our work so far, allowing us to develop new research avenues even as we are putting our SPOTs networks in place. We are very happy with our progress thus far and are excited by the possibilities.”

Sun SPOT Technology, Availability and Pricing

An open source technology based entirely on Java technology, the Sun SPOT release includes hardware architecture, software and the Squawk Java Virtual Machine (VM). The Sun SPOT eBones open source hardware architecture provides plans for a developer to build unique hardware to expand the Sun SPOT platform. The Java technology-based system software includes libraries, drivers, networking stack and the Squawk Virtual Machine. Now available on, the Squawk VM is the only open source research VM that is Java Logo certified.

Available now, the special Sun SPOT JDK software educational pricing of $299/JDK is offered, through a Sun customer service representative, only to eligible education institutions that have a Sun Education buying contract (EdVEU). Products on this discount price list for Education are non-discountable; this offer cannot be combined with other discounts or sales allowance programs. This discounted rate for Sun SPOTs is currently available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South, Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States. For more information on Sun SPOTs, please visit:
Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, JDK and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.


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