Server Farming

Jun 16 2009   5:56PM GMT

Sun Microsystems scraps Rock project as Oracle ownership nears

Bridget Botelho Profile: Bridget Botelho

Sun Microsystems scrapped development efforts for the 16-core “Rock” UltraSparc processor, which the company once hoped would help them compete against chips from IBM and Intel, according to the New York Times.
Rock processor
This news surfaces as the Oracle Corp. takeover of Sun nears. Many IT pros have expressed concerns about the future of Sun technologies under Oracle, and one could assume that this will be the first of many Sun projects and products to hit the chopping block when Oracle gets a hold of Sun.

Sun has invested more than five years and billions of dollars on the project and had hoped to use the chips in its high end systems. The Rock was supposed to start shipping in 2008, but was delayed several times due to glitches, according to the Times article. 

Sun has not verified that the Rock project has been cancelled, but this wouldn’t be the first time Sun aborted a chip after years of work and billions of dollars in research and development. Back in 2004, Sun ditched efforts for the UltraSparc V and Gemini chips and in 2006, Sun killed “Serrano” chips to focus their efforts on the Niagra and Rock chips.

Sun will come under Oracle leadership once the acquisition deal closes, sometime this summer.

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