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September 14, 2009

Intel and Sun Micro Product Roadmap Updates

Intel will use its upcoming Intel Developer Forum to highlight several key developments in its product roadmap -- starting with smaller, more efficient chip designs and specialized applications for its Nehalem line.

* Intel will show off "Westmere," the first processors built using a 32 nanometer (nm) manufacturing process.
* CPU manufacturing shrank from 65nm to 45nm to 32nm and next to 22nm.
* The next chip architecture will come in 2010, in the form of the new architecture codenamed "Sandy Bridge," which will also be disclosed at this month's IDF. Intel's roadmap is process shrinkage and then better architecture and then process shrink etc... (tick-tock)
* This new-generation high-k metal gate transistor formula will give Intel "a 3+ year advantage in addressing leaky and energy inefficient transistors," according to a blog post from Intel spokesman Bill Kircos Intel has shipped >200 million 45nm CPUs using high-k+ metal gate transistors.
* For the first time, Intel has developed a full-featured SoC process technology to complement the CPU-specific technology. This version is for our smarter System on Chip (SoC) product efforts, which emphasize lower power transistors
* Intel NMOS transistors now have 19% performance improvement over their 45nm counterparts and our PMOS transistors now have a 28% performance improvement over their 45nm counterparts.
* Another IDF highlight: Nehalem-based chips codenamed "Jasper Forest" and designed for the embedded and storage sectors. This family of products will bring Nehalem to the embedded market, offering integrated PCI Express (PCIe) and an integrated I/O hub in a dual-processor Xeon processor.
* Nehalem will allow for much faster and denser storage and communications solutions such as IPTV, VoIP, NAS, SAN and wireless radio network controllers

The UK Register has information on the Sun Sparc Roadmap. The 16-core "Rock" UltraSparc-RK processor for Sun's once-and-never "Supernova" line of servers is not on the roadmap. The one-page roadmap is one given Sun's customers - and presumably also Fujitsu's customers - have been shown about the future Sparc processor lineup.

June 2009 Sun Roadmap




A long way off in late 2010 or early 2011, the Sparc Enterprise server lineup gets a speed boost to 3 GHz with the Jupiter-E chips.

After that, in 2012, Sun has made no commitment to the kicker line of Fujitsu "Advanced Product Line 2" servers coming from Fujitsu. These APL2 machines are presumably to be based on the "Venus" eight-core Sparc64-VIII processor, which has a Sparc64-VIIIfx variant aimed at supercomputers. That Sparc64-VIIIfx chip will be used in a 10 petaflops massively parallel machine being built by Fujitsu and paid for by the Japanese government under the 1.2bn Project Keisoku effort.

All of this is subject to change, and some of it most certainly will once Oracle takes control of Sun.




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