John Fowler, executive vice president of Sun's server division, confirmed the development in an interview here Tuesday and suggested it will continue Sun's push to squeeze more processing cores onto the chip. This new member of the Sparc family will be built using a manufacturing process with 45-nanometer circuitry elements, he said.
Google is experimenting with the open-source version of Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris operating system as a possible long-term prelude to replacing its massive global network of Linux servers, according to sources.
With dozens of data centers worldwide estimated to house hundreds of thousands of Intel servers supporting its flagship search engine, a Google move to OpenSolaris would be another of several recent votes of confidence for the platform.
While there are several hundred open source software projects in the world, there are very few open hardware projects. The OpenSparc project, launched by Sun Microsystems to create an open source community centered around its "Niagara" Sparc T1 processors, is probably the most famous, and Sun will today report significant progress in building out that community. The company will also be talking up the rapid adoption of Linux that the commercialized T1 servers have seen in the past few months and the surprisingly high number of downloads of the Sparc T1 hardware specifications.
A start-up called Simply RISC has built a single-core variant of Sun Microsystems' UltraSparc T1, an indication of interest in Sun's plan to encourage others to adopt and modify open-source designs for the processor.
Sun Microsystems last week unveiled a portal that will detail its efforts to make its Java programming language available as open source code.
After the announcement, Bob Brewin, Sun's chief technology officer for software , talked to Computerworld about the state of the company's effort to make Java SE (Standard Edition) code available to the open source community.