Eye on Oracle

Aug 9 2011   3:34PM GMT

Oracle to talk about Sparc T-4 processor at Hot Chips

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Oracle will give a presentation on its upcoming Sparc T-4 processor at Hot Chips in Palo Alto, Calif. next week.

The eight-core processor is scheduled to be released sometime this year, with the scuttlebutt going around that Oracle will reveal it at OpenWorld in October. The presentation, scheduled for Friday, is called “T-4: A Highly Threaded, Server-on-a-Chip with Native Support for Heterogeneous Computing.”

T-4 servers are slated to ship this year, and there was a call-out in June by Oracle to end users interested in testing them:

Development of the SPARC T4 server is well underway and represents the next major milestone in the five-year roadmap Oracle has laid out for releasing new innovations for the SPARC platform. Oracle’s T4 server is a breakthrough product, providing single thread capability to enable optimized performance for a wider range of enterprise applications.

The new systems use “critical thread API”, or the ability of the Solaris operating system to recognize critical threads in applications and assign them, by themselves, to a single processor core. This allows the critical threads to run at the very highest performance levels without competing with other less critical threads. This delivers faster overall performance by accelerating the more critical components in threaded applications.

In a Q&A on Oracle’s website, the company’s VP of hardware development gave some more information on Sparc T-4 features:

We wanted to get more single thread performance into the SPARC T-series systems sooner rather than later. So we developed a new core for the SPARC T4 that brings together the combination of throughput performance through threading as well as really high-speed single thread performance. It’s really breakthrough technology for us. Referring back to the timeline for development that we have, we developed that core and that technology back in 2006/2007 and we’ll be delivering that to the market in 2011.

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