Sun CEO shows first pictures of new 16-core Sparc processor

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Sunnyvale (CA) – Jonathan Schwartz, chief executive officer of Sun, published the first pictures of Sun’s upcoming Ultra Sparc processor, code-named “Rock”. The new processor apparently is taking its first steps in initial tests and Schwartz claims that prototype chips “are running billions of instructions already.”

Rock is scheduled to be released sometime in 2008, which means that Sun may be in the very early stages of testing the CPU, which isn’t “far away” from processing Hello, World code at this time, Schwartz wrote in his blog .

 

Sun's Rock processor

Among the details released is a 2395-pinout, in which 812 are used for signal processing and 1514 are used for power/ground. The remaining 69 pins are unused. Schwartz revealed that Rock will integrate a total 16 cores, but declined to comment on the number of threads supported by each core: According to an article published by The Register, rock will run a total of 32 threads.    

Rock systems will also be able to support a maximum of 256 TB of memory (apparently with 512 memory modules.)

Schwartz indicated that Sun will be revealing more data about Rock as well as “the golden age of effortless parallel programming” within the “next few weeks.”