Publication of UltraSPARC T1 'Niagara' Processor Design Spurs Eco-System, Extends Sun's Multi-Year Lead in Delivering Multi-Threaded Systems to Customers SANTA CLARA, Calif. Multi-Core Expo -- March 22, 2006
-- Sun Microsystems Inc. today announced a significant milestone in its OpenSPARC Initiative aimed at the creation of the world's first multi-core, multi-threaded eco-system: publication of the hardware design point and the Solaris 10 Operating System (OS)
porting specifications for the breakthrough UltraSPARC T1 processor. For the first time in history, developers gain access to the chip multi-threading (CMT) technology unique to the UltraSPARC T1 processor, which will be released under the OSI-compliant GNU General Public License (GPL). This new open source version of the UltraSPARC T1 design will be called "OpenSPARC T1" and is a 64 bit, 32 threaded processor design available at no charge.
Today's announcement builds upon Sun's recent move to release Hypervisor API specifications -- which allow companies to port Linux, BSD and other operating systems to the UltraSPARC T1 platform -- and gives developers the information needed to create hardware, software, tools and other applications in this multi-threaded eco-system. This is the first time that such a complex hardware design has been released under the GNU GPL reflecting Sun's continued commitment to the open source development model and to offering customers greater choice.
"Sun is using open standards and the creation of a rich CMT community to foster innovation and maintain our multi-year lead over competitors in delivering multi-threaded systems to customers," said David Yen, executive vice-president, Scalable Systems Group, Sun Microsystems.
More specifically, today Sun made public these specifications:
- Source of the UltraSPARCT1 design, expressed in Verilog;
- Verification suite and simulation models;
- ISA specification (UltraSPARC Architecture 2005);
- The Solaris 10 OS simulation images.
Sun Opens Door for CMT Innovation More than Four Million Solaris 10 Licensees - World's Most Advanced Operating System
Sun also released porting specifications for the Solaris 10 OS, which will allow developers to create and run their multi-threaded hardware and software products on the world's most advanced operating system. The release of this open operating open platform bolsters the strength of this new multi-threaded community.
Sun works with Universities to Build 1,000 Core Research System
Sun's OpenSPARC Initiative has partnered with universities in the RAMP project -- which includes researchers from University of California-Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard, Carneige Melon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Washington and University of Texas at Austin -- to work together to port this new multi-threaded 64-bit RISC processor and build a 1,000-core scalable research system.
"Sun is releasing a full suite of open hardware and software offerings which look very useful for the RAMP project ," said UC-Berkeley Professor David Patterson. "I am excited by the 64 bit, 32 thread design which can potentially be mapped into an FPGA implementation. I would like to see RAMP and Sun work towards making OpenSPARC a new open industry standard."
Global Third Party Supports OpenSPARC
In addition, companies Aurora VLSI, Aldec, Synopsys, World 45 Ltd., SimplyRISC, Time-to-Market and University of California, Santa Cruz are among members of the open source community to support Sun's pioneering OpenSPARC initiative.
"We are pleased that Sun Microsystems has released their company's latest OpenSPARC UltraSPARC T1 multi-core processor design to the general public" said Stan Hanel, University Program Manager at Aldec. "We believe that Sun's initiative will allow the OpenSPARC community to more easily and inexpensively implement custom logic circuit hardware designs by providing a Verilog source code model of the UltraSPARC T1." To foster this effort, Aldec will be making its Riviera (tm) Verilog Simulator available as a free download on a 90-day trial basis.
"OpenSPARC is a great opportunity for emerging companies like Simply RISC" said Fabrizio Fazzino, Managing Director, Simply RISC. "We will be utilizing the OpenSPARC T1 designs to develop a single core version for the embedded device market, which we would not have had access to previously. This levels the playing field for us immensely and we are really looking forward to participating in the OpenSPARC community."
Sun published the OpenSPARC T1 chip design and verification suites, architecture and performance modeling tools on www.Opensparc.net, a free, active, open source community resource that encourages users to join and participate.
New "Cool Tools" were also launched, offering a variety of tools available for performance tuning of applications on multi-threaded processors and CMT programming and profiling, among other functions. For more information, please see http://cooltools.sunsource.net
Multi-Core Pioneer Sun Platinum Plus Sponsor at MultiCore Expo in Santa Clara, Calif.
At the first-ever MultiCore Expo, Sun's David Yen, executive vice-president of the Scalable Systems Group will kick-off the event, which will also feature nine (9) speakers from Sun giving talks on multi-core and multi-processing chip design. MultiCore Expo takes place in Santa Clara on March 21-23 and is the industry's first conference event dedicated to delivering real developer solutions for multicore and multiprocessing designs. For more information, please visit www.multicore-expo.com.
For more information on OpenSPARC, please go to http://www.opensparc.net/
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 http://sun.com.