New Sparc and Oracle begins to shift to single chip architecture

Oracle is expected to gradually converge its two Unix server families onto its own Sparc processor design. Oracle has announced a batch of servers based on new Sparc processors and in the process has begun an expected shift toward converging its two families of Unix servers onto a single chip architecture.

  • Oracle sells two lines of Unix servers, the T-series, based on the Sparc processors it designs in-house, and the higher-end M-series. Oracle announced the first M-series server designed by Oracle and based on one of its own Sparc processors, rather than Fujitsu’s Sparc64 chip.
  • Oracle announced five new T-series servers on Tuesday. They’re mid-range systems based on its new Sparc T5 processor, which doubles the core count over the Sparc T4, from eight cores to 16, and boosts the clock-speed, I/O bandwidth and memory bandwidth.
  • The new M-series server, called the M5-32, is a high-end SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) machine that will compete against IBM’s Power 795 Unix server.
  • The difference between the T5 and M5 processors is that Oracle has removed some of the cores on the M5, which aren’t as useful in SMP systems, and added a much bigger Level 2 cache memory — six times bigger.
  • The servers are all general-purpose machines, and Oracle isn’t saying yet when the T5 will find its way into its pre-integrated systems, such as the Exadata Database machine and Sparc SuperCluster.

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