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Sun Microsystems is said to unveil its next-generation chip, the UltraSparc IV, during or prior its Network Computing 04-Q1 web conference. The introduction will be epoch-making for Sun Microsystems, as the chip will have two cores, for the first time for this Santa Clara, California-based server company.

Four times a year Sun Microsystems has online discussions in regards its technology, strategy and future product roadmap. They call such online events Network Computing and try to make these virtual conferences interesting enough for clients, media, analysts and investors. During the forthcoming Network Computing Q4-01 the firm will tell us more on its new UltraSparc IV chips along with 19 more innovations, the firm’s spokespersons told CNET News.com. The web-event starts on the February, 10, 2004.

Sun’s UltraSparc IV processor combines 2 UltraSparc III cores on one slice of silicon allowing the final chip to handle two threads simultaneously. The CPU will debut at 1.20GHz speed and will be 60% - 100% faster than its predecessor. Because the new microprocessor can be plugged into the same sockets as UltraSparc III, it effectively doubles the number of CPUs that can be squeezed into a single machine. That would mean a top-end E15K could accommodate the equivalent of 144 processors when configured for business customers.

According to the report, Sun plans to introduce UltraSparc IV first in its higher-end systems, those built around its four-processor “Uniboards”. These processor modules can be plugged into its 4800, 6800, E12K and E15K servers; one version of Solaris can span Uniboards with both UltraSparc III and IV processors, even running at different clock speeds.

The Santa Clara, California-based server company wants to ramp up server families based on the new UltraSparc IV CPUs as quickly as possible. In fact, by simply bringing such chip into the market, Sun positions itself about a year ahed of companies like Intel or AMD, who are likely to introduce their dual-core CPUs in 2005. 

Sun Microsystems also has H series processors listed in its roadmap and set to come in 2005. The CPUs will have up to 8 cores.

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