OpenSPARC(TM) And OpenSolaris(TM) Create Revenue Opportunities For Sun By Driving Broad Adoption of Core Technologies In New Markets
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Oct. 2, 2006 -- Sun Microsystems Inc.today announced the creation of an independent OpenSPARC Community Advisory Board. The board is chartered with setting the direction for OpenSPARC, a community that fosters the creation of tools and derivative chip designs based on Sun's breakthrough UltraSPARC® T1 processor. The community now includes a new GNU/Linux distribution, Gentoo Linux, which is supporting UltraSPARC T1 in the latest release of its popular open source operating system (OS), and the first published derivative of the chip design from Simply RISC.
Today's announcements come as the OpenSPARC initiative is showing significant momentum. Since its introduction last March, there have been over 3,500 OpenSPARC T1 hardware downloads and over 2,600 OpenSPARC T1 software downloads, the same multi-core, multi-threading, 64-bit processor design driving the highly successful Sun Fire(TM) T1000 and T2000 servers.
"To grow we can't just rely on upgrading our installed base, we have to go after new customers, and that's what open source helps us do," said John Fowler, executive vice president of Sun's systems group. "OpenSolaris is clearly a runaway hit, and the OpenSPARC program helps us accelerate our adoption rate into the new, emerging Web 2.0 market. Last quarter 60 percent of the trial units for our Sun Fire CoolThreads(TM) servers went to new customers; that's a trend we want to continue."
Now providing oversight for the expanding OpenSPARC community is the new OpenSPARC Community Advisory Board (CAB). CAB will be comprised of five charter members, two from Sun and three outside the company. Nathan Brookwood, analyst with Insight 64; Assistant Professor Jose Renau, UC Santa Cruz; and Robert Ober, Fellow - CTO office, LSI Logic are joined by David Weaver, senior staff engineer, and Simon Phipps, Chief Open Source Officer, from Sun. The board will solicit input from the OpenSPARC community to shape the evolution of the initiative. The board's charter is posted on http://www.opensparc.net/ .
"By open sourcing its core technologies -- Solaris and SPARC -- Sun has moved from talking the talk of open systems to walking the walk," said Insight 64's Nathan Brookwood. "Since no company ever has a monopoly on creativity, Sun's ability to expand the community of those who can contribute to SPARC and Solaris should increase the market opportunities for all involved."
OpenSPARC Community Grows
Ubuntu Linux, which last May was the first third-party to announce a port of its GNU/Linux OS to the Sun Fire T1000 and T2000 platforms, is showing significant momentum with over 3,000 downloads of it OS supporting the OpenSPARC T1 processor, and at least 800 sites running Ubuntu on SPARC® systems.
The port was done by the Linux community, in particular David Miller, and has paved the way for even broader adoption of the technology. And it was the community's UltraSPARC work that lead to support for UltraSPARC T1 in the mainline Linux kernel (2.6.17). Inclusion in the Linux kernel has now brought UltraSPARC support to the greater GNU/Linux community.
"Ubuntu and Sun share a common vision: accelerating the adoption of technology and community development through freedom and openness," said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO, Ubuntu. "That has been the cornerstone of Ubuntu's success, and a key reason why OpenSPARC is such an appealing technology for us, our community of users, and our customers who are purchasing commercial support for Ubuntu on SPARC."
A Linux distribution that has taken advantage of the support is Gentoo Linux, which focuses on delivering better ("near-ideal") tools for developers. Gentoo Linux is now supporting the UltraSPARC T1 processor on Sun Fire T1000 and T2000 servers and has developed a specific installed CD to assist with the process. Through the OpenSPARC program, Gentoo sees an opportunity to further extend its reach into the enterprise market.
And it's not just software vendors that are taking advantage of OpenSPARC. Simply RISC, a team of former STMicroelectronics engineers working in Italy and England, published the first derivative chip design, based on OpenSPARC. The 64-bit, single-core design is targeted at embedded applications in PDAs, set-top boxes and digital cameras. The design is freely downloadable from the Simply RISC website ( http://www.srisc.com/ ) and can be supported by operating system distributions from OpenSolaris or GNU/Linux.
About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
A singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer"(TM) -- 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 sun.com.