Fujitsu and Oracle to Reveal More Details About 16-Core SPARC Chips at Tech Conference

Lack of Speedy Innovation Calls Fujitsu and Oracle to Discuss Already Known Chips at ISSCC

by Anton Shilov
11/20/2012 | 11:51 PM

Fujitsu and Oracle, two companies developing central processing units for mission-critical servers based on SPARC architecture will reveal additional details about their upcoming sixteen-core chips at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference next February. Part of the details were already unveiled this August at Hot Chips conference.


As expected, Fujitsu will describe its tenth-generation SPARC64 X: the company's new sixteen core processor for the next generation UNIX servers. Apparently, the company has quietly cancelled its SPARC64 IXfx sixteen-core microprocessor for supercomputers that it has been developing together with LSI Corp. The reasons for that are unclear, but Fujitsu has not provided an update regarding IXfx for some time now.

Oracle will also disclose additional details about the SPARC T5 microprocessors, which 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.

Even though both Fujitsu and Oracle have already described certain things about their high-end SPARC chips for mission-critical machines, the slow progress of development of such systems forces the companies to reveal details about the novelties during multiple conferences due to competitive and other reasons.

Both sixteen-core SPARC chips from Fujitsu and Oracle will compete against IBM Power 7+ and Intel Itanium "Poulson" microprocessors in proprietary mission-critical and supercomputing systems.