IP News FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Sun Amplifies Community Source Licensing Program with Addition Of 32-Bit SPARC (TM) Processor Design
Widely adopted SPARC processor now available via the Web at no initial cost to developers
SAN JOSE, Calif. (Sept. 14, 1999) - Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW) today announced the immediate download availability of its popular 32-bit microSPARC (TM) processor design via the Sun Community Source Licensing (CSL) model. With more than 1,300 downloads and licensees to date of the company's picoJava (TM) core via Sun CSL, the microSPARC IIep microprocessor becomes the first RISC processor to take advantage of the distribution power of the Internet.
With the release of its microSPARC processor design, Sun continues to reduce the barriers to starting development for designers of embedded system-on-chip (SOC) applications such as set-top boxes, video encode/decode engines, network controllers and devices at the edge of the network. Sun's microSPARC IIep processor offers leading-edge silicon functionality and performance per dollar, making the SPARC (TM) technology a strong solution for embedded SOC applications. Sun is providing designers with significant time-to-market advantage by offering immediate access to the proven SPARC processor technology. Designers can easily leverage the existing microSPARC design efforts, enabling them to concentrate on integration and application needs. In addition, designers can shave off months of evaluation and licensing negotiation time and proceed directly to the beginning stages of product development.
"Sun is introducing a new SOC business model by releasing its SPARC intellectual property via the CSL model," said Max Baron, senior analyst, Cahners In-Stat Group. "With SPARC technology driving digital imaging in volume cameras, Sun's shareware-like licensing strategy sets a precedent that others may have to follow."
"We have experienced tremendous success with Sun's microSPARC II microprocessor powering our Explorer(R) 2000 digital interactive set-tops, which we are now deploying to subscribers throughout North America," said Michael Harney, vice president and general manager of digital subscriber networks for Scientific-Atlanta. "This processor met our low-cost/high-speed requirements, while providing us with the convenience of using widely available third-party development tools to create compelling interactive TV services."
"Oak Technology chose the microSPARC processor for its recently introduced MPEG AV decoder for set-top boxes and integrated digital TVs because it offered the best trade-off in performance, silicon area and cost of use," said Paul Vroomen, president of the consumer group at Oak Technology. "Recently, we went back to the drawing board to review processors for our future-generation digital TV products, and Sun's microSPARC processor was again selected as the top choice. We found that Sun's SPARC processor implementations had fully retained the qualities that meet our requirements for performance, power and cost-effectiveness."
"We've had overwhelming interest in the CSL release of the SPARC architecture, with a waiting list of more than 200 who are ready to download the microprocessor design the moment it goes live on the Sun Web site," said Fadi Azhari, group marketing manager, Sun Microsystems Microelectronics. "We see this as a strong indicator of the potential this business model holds for microprocessors, and demonstrates that it is a critical component of doing business in the electronics market in the future."
Developer Package on the Web
Sun offers the complete 32-bit microSPARC IIep synthesizable microprocessor, containing an FP unit, integer unit, MMU, cache, memory controller and PCI interface. Through the Sun CSL Web site, developers are able to quickly license the technology and then download the register transfer level (RTL) implementation of the Sun microSPARC IIep microprocessor at no cost for the initial evaluation phase. Developers downloading microSPARC IIep from the Web will receive the Verilog RTL source code, SPARC V8 architecture manual, SPARC instruction simulator, verification test suite, and the microSPARC IIep user's manual, validation catalog and megacell reference.
A Rich Development Environment
SPARC processors provide a rich development environment with both general-purpose processing capabilities and the ability to be an excellent RISC embedded core. The long-time proliferation of the SPARC architecture has helped create unparalleled third-party support from companies such as Artisan Components, Cadence Design Systems, Synopsys, IKOS, Wind River Systems, Phoenix Technologies, RealChip, Amkor Technology, i2p (Integrated Intellectual Property, Inc.), UMC, Avant!, SureFire Verification Inc., LavaLogic (a business unit of TSI TelSys), Infinite Technology Corporation and Silicon Value, Inc.
Pricing Model for Community Source Licensing
The 32-bit microSPARC IIep processor design is available immediately from the Sun CSL Web site (http://www.sun.com/microelectronics/communitysource) at no charge during the initial evaluation and development phase. Upon execution of a commercial license agreement, semiconductor vendors will be charged a percentage of the average selling price (ASP) per chip. For more details on the CSL pricing model for both the microSPARC IIep microprocessor and the earlier release of the picoJava core, go to: http://www.sun.com/microelectronics/communitysource/ licensing.
About Sun Community Source Licensing
The CSL model is the result of Sun's continued commitment to the open development of key technologies, and is based on Sun's community source principles, which include immediate open access, increased innovation, faster commercialization, and access for students. Sun released the picoJava core through CSL in April 1999 and within just two months had reached 1,000 downloads. Sun is planning a release of an UltraSPARC V9 implementation in the future under CSL.
Sun's Commitment to SPARC Processors
Throughout Sun's 11-year history with SPARC, the processors have maintained binary compatibility, enabling applications written for the first SPARC processor to run on the latest processor today. The SPARC architecture leverages a unique combination of semiconductor design expertise, leading performance, multiprocessor capabilities and high bandwidth to provide companies a competitive advantage by enabling the development of highly reliable, differentiated systems. The UltraSPARC II family is the processor behind Sun's leading enterprise computing offerings. Sun's continued commitment to the SPARC architecture is evidenced by its roadmap into the next century (refer to: http://www.sun.com/microelectronics/ roadmap/).
About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision, "The Network Is The Computer (TM)," has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of hardware, software and services for establishing enterprise-wide intranets and expanding the power of the Internet. With more than $11 billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than 150 countries and on the World Wide Web at http://www.sun.com.
Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, picoJava, HotJava, and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and in other countries. All SPARC trademarks are used under license and are trademarks or registered trademarks of SPARC International, Inc. in the United States and in other countries. Products bearing SPARC trademarks are based upon an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc. Netscape Navigator is a trademark of Netscape Communications Corporation.
Press announcements and other information about Sun Microsystems are available on the Internet via the World Wide Web using a tool such as Netscape Navigator (TM) or Sun's HotJava (TM) browser. Type http://www.sun.com/ at the URL prompt.