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New Sun Silicon Delivers Multi-Threaded 10 Gig E

Sun Microsystems is introducing a new network interface card (NIC) today designed to improve multi-threaded application performance by supporting maximum input/output throughput in environments that use parallel threads.

Sun's new 10GbE solution is an interesting departure from the idea that high-performance TCP/IP bandwidth requires an offload engine to be efficient. By taking a multi-threaded approach, Sun's adapter is planned to leverage the power of multi-core systems and at the same time better enable server virtualization by supporting multiple IO interfaces. This technology has the potential to be extremely effective in blade server environments, where the IO of dozens of virtual machines can be aggregated and dynamically allocated to make the most efficient use of multiple 10GbE links. IO virtualization has been the next big hurdle to overcome in the virtualization space, and it will be interesting to see how well Sun's approach stacks up on a price/performance basis against TCP/IP offload-based solutions in a real-world production environment.

Steven Hill
NWC Technology Editor

Describing the new silicon technology that provides the basis for the NIC as a "revolutionary approach to connecting processors to the network," Sun says that while the new multi-threaded 10 Gigabit Ethernet technology is designed for chip multi-threading (CMT) environments, it actually accelerates network performance for all processors.

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