Hello old friend…

This just showed up in my Inbox in 14-point Marketing type:

Wind River To Support Sun’s Breakthrough UltraSPARC T1 Multithreaded Next-Generation Processor

So ‘Hello’ old friend, the years have been really good to you! Has it really been 20 years?

SPARC and I are old friends. I was a Sun-4 and SPARC sysadmin back in the day when the greater fraction of the studio audience was stuffing quarters into the ‘Ms. Pac-Man’ machine down at the local arcade and pizza parlor. (I was a Tempest man myself) The SPARC was the picture of minimalistic performance – in a pizza box!

In that era it was very forward-looking for Sun to have had a second source such as Fujitsu for their chips. Vendors were encouraged to add their value to the ‘eco-system’ – before the term was cool. I still have my first SPARC 1+ mobo which had been displaced by a Rave Systems SPARC2 unit! Both sBus I/O cards and mBus CPU cards were readily available from third parties. This new announcement is a reenforcement of this original vision.

Wind River has provided VxWorks 5 support for both Sun and Force COTS V9 boards and still has customers using the V8 LEON version in Mil/Aero applications. Our VxWorks business on SPARC has dropped off as other types of processors have moved into the same levels of performance.

With the release of the UltraSPARC T1, Sun has once again taken the high ground on performance. Their decades of Solaris experience have lead to the development of a chip that is tuned for UNIX-type operating systems. The 64-bit T1 offers the option of up to eight four-thread cores. 72 Watts for eight cores may sound like a lot but both the Freescale MPC8641D and Intel Core Duo weigh in at over 30 Watts for just two cores…

…and now, Wind River returns to the story. In this Press Release, we announce showing Wind River Linux on the UltraSPARC T1. Talk about the right tool for the job! Cores and cores, threads and threads. Li-nuks never had it SO GOOD! This will be the measure that SMP Linux will be held to. "Do one thing and do it well" – but do 32 at a time!

Other OS choices include Sun’s own OpenSolaris, NetBSD, FreeBSD and OpenBSD.

And to top it off, Open Source software on Open Source hardware.

The OpenSPARC initiative allows for free access to the GPLed Verilog chip design. Early projects and app notes include a single core version, a core realized in an FPGA and cycle accurate simulators!

The bottom line is that the OpenSPARC T1 project by Sun is the realization of many of the tenets of Device Software Optimization (DSO):

- Standardization of technologies, tools, and processes across the enterprise
- Embrace of open standards
- Reuse of intellectual property
- Operating system agnosticism
- A broad ecosystem of hardware and software partners

1 Comment

Comments are closed.