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7. Fujitsu Discloses Further Details About Venus Chip: Eight-Core Processor that Consumes 35W  

We do not hear a lot about Fujitsu when it comes to microprocessors these days, but in mid-May Fujitsu disclosed some additional details regarding its Venus processor. Unfortunately, the company is still unsure about availability timeframe for the chip as well as systems on its base. However, in the light of the fact that Sun Microsystems reportedly scrapped development of its sixteen-core Rock processor, Fujitsu's Venus may easily become the highest-performance SPARC processor available. 

Fujitsu’s SPARC64 VIIIfx (Venus) processor. Image by PC Watch web-site

Fujitsu’s SPARC64 VIIIfx (Venus) is made using 45nm low-power process and sports eight processing cores. According to Fujitsu, the chip has 128GFLOPs peak performance, which is 2.5 times higher compared to Intel’s top-of-the-range dual-core Itanium 2, however, even with built-in memory controller Venus consumes only 33% of what Itanium 2 uses, hence, about 35W. By contrast, the Sun UltraSPARC RK (the official name of the Sun Rock processor) with16 processing cores each capable of processing two threads at once was to be made using 65nm process technology and with maximal frequency of about 2.30GHz the chip could dissipate 250W, according to some sources.

Since at present all the server makers are trying hard to make "green" machines, Fujitsu's processor might be a better solution for Sun than its own processor with truly extreme power consumption. As a result, it looks like Rock may be the last microprocessor that Sun Microsystems was developing. Moreover, as soon as Oracle takes over Sun, it is highly likely that the latter will simply cease to develop microprocessors at all. 

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