SAN JOSE -- During the Microprocessor Forum here today (Oct. 13, 2003), Sun Microsystems Inc. rolled out its next-generation, RISC-based processor, the UltraSPARC IV.
Built with Texas Instrument Inc.'s 130-nm process technology, the processor will operate at an initial frequency of 1.2-GHz. The UltraSPARC IV is expected to double the throughput of Sun's existing high-end and mid-range systems when it hits the market in the first half of 2004, according to the company.
The processor is also expected to deploy the company's Chip Multithreading (CMT) technology, a design concept that allows the processor to execute tens of threads simultaneously. First generation CMT processors, including the UltraSPARC IV family of processors, is said to have up to four times the throughput of the company's current UltraSPARC III chips.
The UltraSPARC IV processor will introduce CMT technology into Sun's current mid-range and high-end server lines. The dual-threaded architecture of the initial member of the UltraSPARC IV processor family consists of two UltraSPARC III cores and includes on-chip tags for 8-MB of off-chip 2-way set-associative Level 2 cache per core.
A dynamic arbitration scheme allows each thread to make optimal use of the available L2 bandwidth. Other shared interfaces on the UltraSPARC IV processor include an on-chip memory controller supporting up to 16-GBs of DRAM, and a system interface unit providing access to the Sun Fireplane interconnect fabric.