MOE Selected OpenSPARC for Its World Record Performance and Because It's the Industry's Only Open Source, Multicore, Multithreaded Processor Architecture
BEIJING & SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- February 27, 2008 -- Sun Microsystems, Inc., (Nasdaq:JAVA) and the Ministry of Education (MOE) for the People's Republic of China today announced a three-year collaboration agreement designed to meet China's demand for cultivating integrated circuit (IC) engineering talent and industry development. The agreement is based on Sun's OpenSPARC(TM) program. MOE selected OpenSPARC because it is the fastest microprocessor in the world, and Sun is the only major processor vendor to freely offer its designs to the open source community. Both the OpenSPARC T1 and OpenSPARC T2 processor RTL (register transfer level) files can be downloaded at www.opensparc.net.
As a result of the agreement, the Chinese MOE can educate students on the latest processor innovations, including chip mulithreading (CMT) and software coding that take advantage of multithreading. Chinese universities that participate in the program will develop their own textbooks, workshops and labs programs; the Chinese MOE and Sun will jointly promote the best practice throughout China. Students will benefit from the curriculum, and because it is based on Sun's open architecture they are empowered to accelerate innovation on top of the OpenSPARC design.
"Today, we extend the OpenSPARC ecosystem to embrace the world's fastest growing technology community," said Jonathan Schwartz, president and CEO, Sun Microsystems. "This relationship gives The People’s Republic of China access to the tools and the freedom to develop the intellectual property framework it needs to cultivate native microprocessors and microprocessor engineers, while opening a huge market for the OpenSPARC community. This is a launching point for similar relationships with economies and universities worldwide, and an unmistakable endorsement of Sun's open source approach to building opportunity across software, systems and microelectronics.”
“We appreciate Sun's open source strategy, especially Sun's outstanding contribution in the open-sourced IC area, and we encourage the active cooperation effort between China's universities and Sun in the teaching and research area,” said Prof. Zhao Qinping, vice minister of MOE. “We believe the cooperation will be beneficial in advancing China's teaching and research level in the IC area.”
The collaboration between Sun and MOE will cover three areas:
Education: train and qualify 100 – 150 educators per year with OpenSPARC technology; select universities in China to develop "MOE-Sun Excellence Courses" and to leverage OpenSPARC to enhance experiments and hands-on training.
Research: universities to collaborate on research projects based on OpenSPARC; establish OpenSPARC MOE Sun Centers of Excellence to enhance and expand the research projects.
Industry Development: establish industry-university cooperation models; bridge the gap between academic research and industry productization, help to facilitate the transformation from academic research results to industry products; incubate IC design firms from universities to help develop the China IC industry.
“As one of China's leading universities in microelectronics, Peking University (PKU) never stops its effort in integrating the front edge technology in the world and the trend of the industry into its teaching and research,” said Wang Yangyuan, Academician of CAS (Chinese Academy of Science), Dean of Department of Micro-electronics, Peking University. “OpenSPARC T2 is one of the most advanced and open-sourced multicore CPU technologies in the industry. It provides us a great opportunity to upgrade our processor and SoC design related curricula and research. We are going to cooperate with Sun in this area to benefit our faculty and students.”
"CMP (Chip-Multi-Processor) and CMT technologies are the emerging trends in CPU and SoC design. They provide critical new topics and challenges for the study and practice of computer architecture,” said Prof. Wang Dongsheng, director of CPU and SoC Center, Tsinghua University; deputy director of computer architecture committee, China Computer Federation. “Sun's OpenSPARC open source project provides an impeccable opportunity for in-depth research in this area. We look forward to cooperating with Sun in this area both in terms of teaching and research."
Sun, CMT and OpenSPARC
Sun launched the chip multithreading revolution in 2005, with the introduction of the UltraSPARC T1 processor, the industry’s first, eight core, 32 thread, general purpose processor. Through the efficient use of multiple cores with multiple, parallel threads, the UltraSPARC T1 proved that CMT is the only effective solution to the growing gap between processor and memory performance (i.e., memory latency).
In 2007, Sun introduced the second generation of CMT processors, the UltraSPARC T2, which doubled the thread count of the UltraSPARC T1, to 64. The UltraSPARC T2 set five world record benchmarks (see footnote1), thus proving that it was possible to scale a processor's performance strictly through threading, instead of through higher frequencies and larger caches. The UltraSPARC T2 is also the only true “system on a chip” in its class, combining high compute performance with integrated 10 Gb Ethernet, cryptographic acceleration, floating point units, and PCI-E controllers. Combined with the power of the Solaris Operating System (OS) and Sun's LDoms virtualization technology, the UltraSPARC T2 makes it possible to host up to 64 logical domains on a single chip.
The UltraSPARC T1 and UltraSPARC T2 RTL has been downloaded over 7,000 times. Sun has also established six major universities as OpenSPARC Technology Centers of Excellence: the University of California, Santa Cruz; University of Texas, Austin; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Stanford University; and Carnegie Mellon University. Each Center of Excellence has a minimum two-year commitment, during which time they'll execute chip design research and course work based on Sun's chip multithreading(CMT) design.
The collaboration under this MOU will be in full compliance with U.S. Export controls and regulations.
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.
1World Record Performances (UltraSPARC T2-based systems; cited in E5120/5220 gold pitch):