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Oracle launches Sparc T3

Oracle launches Sparc T3

The T3-4 crams four T3 chips into its chassis for 64 processing cores and 512 simultaneous threads.

Oracle has surprised the industry by going ahead with the launch of servers based around the Sparc T3 processor, a chip that originally started life at Sun Microsystems, and which many people had given up on ever seeing.

The Sparc T3 is designed to be a high-performance server processor for the top end of the market, with 16 physical processing cores - twice as many as the UltraSparc T2 Plus, Oracle's current top-end CPU - each running at 1.65GHz

At the top end, Oracle is offering the Sparc T3-4 server, which is a four-socket system featuring 64 physical processing cores overall. Impressively, the T3's equivalent of hyperthreading means that the T3-4 can cope with 512 simultaneous threads, which Oracle claims provides the "mission-critical speed [...] required for enterprise applications."

If a quad-socket 64-core server sounds a little out of your price bracket, there's Oracle's Sparc T3-1. With just a single socket, you're limited to 16 processing cores and 128 simultaneous threads - but Oracle claims that's still enough to deliver "reliable service to millions of users."

The Sparc T3 is built around a 40nm process, and while Oracle hasn't provided any clues as to TDP, the power draw is low enough that single chips are also available as part of the company's T-series of blade servers.

Sadly, the one thing Oracle hasn't publicised about this launch is possibly the most important: the price. With its emphasis on "the industry's first 16-core processor" and "enterprise applications", it's clear that the pricing structure is likely to leave the Sparc T3 in the hands of the big boys only.

Are you pleased to see that there are non-x86 processors out there that are still making an impact, or just wondering when Oracle will give up on Sun's legacy and make the move to a more widespread processor platform? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

6 Comments

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bowman 21st September 2010, 11:44 Quote
Awesome stuff.
Bendill 21st September 2010, 12:16 Quote
Server pr0n!
B1GBUD 21st September 2010, 19:35 Quote
Yes yes..... But will it play Crysis?



Sorry, but someone had to ask
lewchenko 21st September 2010, 21:38 Quote
Serious stuff.

For those of you who wonder who might use technology like this... well we do at our work (Investment Banking). The Solaris10 platform is still extremely popular for vendor based products that handle trade capture, settlements, and back office trade processing across a number of asset classes. These machines have anywhere between 32 and 128GB of memory and having serious amounts of number crunching power to handle the thousands of trades and accounting entries each day. Parallelism is far more important to us than just clock speed. Each night we process millions of records of data, and the multi core nature of these machines makes a big difference (My team performance tests this stuff)

The servers are often clustered together for real time fail over, and then mirrored to an offsite parallel environment for 2nd level fail over. The kit costs us millions, but such levels of performance are required when you consider the billions of $ of trades that are processed each day. Should we not be able to make payments to our counter party clients on time, the penalties are significant.
schmidtbag 22nd September 2010, 21:52 Quote
i'm glad sun/oracle finally accomplished this.

"Are you pleased to see that there are non-x86 processors out there that are still making an impact, or just wondering when Oracle will give up on Sun's legacy and make the move to a more widespread processor platform?"
i loled at that. intel and amd have nothing against what ibm and sun/oracle have. x86 is too complex and power consuming for mobile devices, but its not complex enough to beat what PPC or SPARC has to offer. x86 is good for home use or lower-end servers, nothing more, nothing less. sure intel has done a great job at nearly perfecting x86 (i believe intel still has some issues they could fix) but theres only so much you can do. you can keep adding instruction sets but as i see it, eventually there will be so much that older programs and OSes won't even be able to operate anymore.

it really bothers me, because if windows didn't exist then processors would be so much better these days. due to microsoft limiting what they're willing to develop for, intel, amd, and via are stuck working on the same architecture and reinventing the same thing over and over again. whats nice is both companies are forced to make their products better quality, but if they were allowed to invent new architectures that would be windows compatible, then i believe they could make something far better than what ibm or oracle have to offer for a much lower price
j0rd 22nd May 2011, 10:13 Quote
if only pande group would compile f@h for sparc, this thing could fold someone some serious PPD...alas, its not to be
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