Zurich Salutes Sun Chips

Swiss University finds no holes in the new UltraSPARC chips

May 3, 2004

1 Min Read
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The University of Zurich has upgraded to the new UltrasPARC IV processor from Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) in one of its key data centers.

Sun has only just begun rolling out servers, originally code-named "Jaguar," based around UltraSPARC IV. And the universitys Institute for Mathematics says the new chips are already purring through scientific calculations.

“In general, we get between 10 percent and 15 percent more CPU power from the UltraSPARC IV,” says Carsten Rose, system administrator at the Institute.

In January, the university added the 1050MHz UltraSPARC IVs to its existing Sun Fire 6800 server that was using 900MHz UltraSPARC III chips; this allowed it to double its computing capacity to 128 Gbyte/s.

”The calculations that we do on the machines need a lot of CPUs and a big memory,” Rose says.

However, the UultraSPARC IVs are still at the beta test stage. Up to this point, the Institute has been running the UltraSPARC IVs and UltraSPARC IIIs on two separate partitions, or domains, on the server."We were a little afraid of whether the new UltraSPARCS were stable, and we wanted to compare them," Rose says. “In the next weeks we will merge the partitions together in one big machine.”

Sun is using UltraSPARC IVs to push a technology called multi-threading out to its users. Multi-threading is designed to mix and match different generations of the UltraSPARC processors within the same domain -- with the goal of boosting performance without downtime.

In addition to the University of Zurich, Daimler-Chrysler, and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) have already implemented the technology.

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-gen Data Center Forum

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