Emerging from its latest stop at the central processor gas station, Sun Microsystems Inc’s Sparc Technology Business unit this week announces official availability of the 167MHz and 143MHz implementations of its 64-bit UltraSparc I chip set. They are rated at 240 SPECint92/380 SPECfp92 and 205 SPECint92/325 SPECfp92 respectively and cost from $1,400 and $1,000, down […]
Emerging from its latest stop at the central processor gas station, Sun Microsystems Inc’s Sparc Technology Business unit this week announces official availability of the 167MHz and 143MHz implementations of its 64-bit UltraSparc I chip set. They are rated at 240 SPECint92/380 SPECfp92 and 205 SPECint92/325 SPECfp92 respectively and cost from $1,400 and $1,000, down $200 and $100 respectively on its June price list, in 1,000-up quantities. A 182MHz device rated at 260 SPECint92 and 410 SPECfp92, is sampling now and will ship in the first quarter of next year at $1,600 for 1,000-up. The 200MHz version is still on the forecourt and is being demonstrated at Microprocessor Forum. The 5.2m transistor part is manufactured by Texas Instruments Inc in its 3.3V, four-layer metal, 0.5 micron CMOS process. Sparc Technology claims it is around 100 SPECfp92 ahead of its original UltraSparc schedule and expects systems from the company’s hardware unit and the compatible houses by the end of the year, though the list of supporters does not currently include Sun’s biggest Sparc partner, Fujitsu Ltd or its ICL Plc affiliate. UltraSparc I stacks up against Digital Equipment Corp’s 8400/5/300 system implementation of the 300MHz Alpha 21164, which registers 341 SPECint92 and 513 SPECfp92. HaL Computer Systems Inc’s HalStation 350 with a 118MHz Sparc64 achieves 212 SPECint92 and 271 SPECfp92. IBM Corp’s RS/6000 43P workstation implementation with the 133MHz PowerPC 604 achieves 176 SPECint92 and 156 SPECfp92. Hewlett-Packard Co’s 120MHz PA-7200 K-Class systems are rated at 167 SPECint92 and 267 SPECfp92. The Intel Corp Xpress 133MHz Pentium system is rated at 156 SPECint92 and 117 SPECfp92. The Fujitsu Ross Technology Inc 125MHz HyperSparc hits 152 SPECint92 and 181 SPECfp92. Sun’s 90MHz SuperSparc II chip – not yet in systems – is rated at 148 SPECint92 and 143 SPECfp92. IBM’s RS/6000 Model 591/R21 RS/6000 fitted with a 77MHz Power2 reaches 144 SPECint92 and 308 SPECfp92. Silicon Graphics Inc’s Power Challenge Onyx 90MHz R8000 reaches 132 SPECint92 and 396 SPECfp92. Although UltraSparc isn’t top of the performance pack, Sun is trying to move the performance goalposts somewhat by emphasising multimedia performance (through UltraSparc’s extra Visual Instruction Set graphics instructions supporting two- and three-dimensional image and video processing, MPEG-2 image decompression and audio processing) and networking data throughput (using extra block load-store instructions and split data and instruction buses). It is calling the work UltraSparc New-Media technology. UltraSparc Data Buffers are an extra $85 for 1,000 up. The chip set consists of a Uniprocessor System Controller, UltraSparc Port Architecture UPA to SBus Interface, Reset/Interrupt/Controller and Crossbar Switch-Uniprocessor and is $450 in 1,000-up quantities.