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Oracle Corp. has announced that it would unleash its new generation of microprocessors, the long-awaited SPARC T5, as well as servers on their base next week. The company claims almost immediate availability of the products and blames that customers specifically held off buying machines based on current-gen SPARC T4 in order to get something that is twice as fast as the current offerings.

“Next week, we will start deliveries of our next generation of servers, built using our new SPARC T5 microprocessor, the world’s fastest microprocessor. Next week, we will publish 17 world record benchmarks, including a TPC benchmark showing that the SPARC T5 is the fastest processor in the world for database. The SPECjEnterprise benchmark, showing the SPARC T5, is the fastest processor in the world for Java middleware,” said Larry Ellison, the chairman and chief executive officer of Oracle, during a conference call with financial analysts.

SPARC T5 microprocessors will not only boost the number of cores to sixteen from eight on SPARC T4, but will also gain clock-speed and will operate at 3.60GHz, up from 3.0GHz of the predecessor. The new chips will likely integrate proprietary special-purpose hardware accelerators into to speed up Oracle software. For example, Oracle plans to add memory versioning, in memory columnar database acceleration, hardware decompression and other software-specific accelerators into its silicon. The chip is likely made using 28nm process technology.

“Our new T5 servers have up to eight processors, and are more than twice as fast as the T4 systems that they replace. Even more important is our new M5 server, which has up to 32 processors and runs its Oracle Database over 10 times faster than the similarly priced old M9000 server it replaces. With the delivery of the M5 server next week, Oracle will finish upgrading every server in the SPARC product line dating from the time we acquired Sun,” added Mr. Ellison.

Due to release of the new generations of servers, which were delayed last year from their original schedule, customers of the company held off purchase of new systems in Q3 of fiscal 2013 (ended February 28, 2013). As a result, the company’s hardware system products revenue was down to $671 million from $869 million in the previous quarter. Still, the company claims that it sold 800 of its high-end engineered systems, such as Exadata, Exalogic, Big Data Appliance and Oracle Database Appliance, during the quarter, a record number.

“With more than 800 [engineered systems] sold in Q3, that is the best unit quarter ever. We have now sold more than 5000 engineered systems to date. In the first full quarter for Exadata X3, we sold over 400 systems. The pipe is up materially, and conversion rates are up,” said Mark Hurd, the president of Oracle.

Oracle announced that fiscal 2013 Q3 total revenues were down 1% to $9.0 billion. New software licenses and cloud software subscriptions revenues were down 2% to $2.3 billion. Software license updates and product support revenues were up 7% to $4.3 billion. Hardware systems products revenues were $671 million. GAAP operating income was up 1% to $3.3 billion, and GAAP operating margin was 37%.

Tags: Oracle, Sun, Sparc, Sun Microsystems, Solaris


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