Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Sun Launches Open-Source Effort With Sparc Processor

In a bid to show it's no laggard when it comes to supporting open source, Sun Microsystems is launching a new salvo -- the release of specifications of its latest 8-core processor, the UltraSPARC T1.

Sun chairman and CEO Scott McNealy launched the OpenSparc Project, where it will release into the public domain key specifications for the T1, code-named Niagra, which Sun unveiled last month. McNealy disclosed the open-source plan at a press and analyst event in New York, where Sun launched its first servers, based on the new UltraSparc T1 platform.

Does that mean an AMD or Intel could end up developing a non-Solaris derivative of the Sparc platform?

"Wouldn't that be cool?" McNealy asked. On a more serious note, he said if open-source software efforts have helped spur innovation, why not try it with hardware?

"There's eight cores [in the T1 platform] that maybe someone wants to do something bigger or smaller or whatever," McNealy said. "You don't know where it's going to go, that's the beauty of it."

  • 1