Sun makes Niagara an open-source chip

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 2:00 am

In a bid to increase the relevance of its processor line, Sun Microsystems pledged Tuesday to make the underlying designs of its new UltraSparc T1 an open-source project.

The Sparc chip specifications have been available for years to those who pay a fee to licensing organization Sparc International. But now Sun plans to release not just the specifications, but also the design itself, written in the Verilog hardware description language, and an accompanying verification suite and simulation models.

Sun plans to release the information through a new group called OpenSparc in the first quarter of 2006 and will use a license approved by the Open Source Initiative, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said during Tuesday’s launch of the ambitious T1-based T1000 and T2000 servers.

Releasing the UltraSparc T1 details move is likely to appeal chiefly to academia, said Insight 64 analyst Nathan Brookwood. “I really think it may appeal to some researchers. It’s really hard for me to imagine that a serious manufacturer would go off and make a product out of it,” he said.

Source: News.com


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