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Is Sun's Niagara Server Viagra?

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the best-title-evah dept.

Sun Microsystems 190

argonaut writes "Ace's Hardware has an in-depth article on Niagara -- Sun's upcoming parallel server processor with 8 cores and 4 threads each. The article discusses the chip's radical architecture and what kind of performance can be expected from it in traditionally thread-heavy server applications like web hosting, databases, and other multi-user applications. Given the recent cancellation of the UltraSPARC V, it seems this is going to be Sun's new direction for its in-house CPU design efforts. Furthermore, both Intel and IBM are working on other highly parallel processors and AMD is expected to eventually introduce a dual-core Opteron. So, will more threads prop up Sun's performance?"

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Nice title! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908265)

Is Sun's Niagara Server Viagra?

Best. Title. Ever.

Re:Nice title! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908281)

Yeah...that one took a couple of reads to sort out. All I saw was N*I*G*A and thought 419....

Nigga? (-1, Offtopic)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908337)

gnaa wuz here looooool

Re:Nice title! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908312)

I've been trying to find a CPU that rhymed with "Steve Martin's Penis Wrinkle Cream" for months...

Re:Nice title! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908326)

Why cuz Niagara and Viagra rhyme?

hahaha how clever

Re:Nice title! (0, Offtopic)

AtlanticGiraffe (749719) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908386)

I suggest we ban humor in article titles. It always looks goofy. Who's with me?

Is Sun's Niagara Server Viagra? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908505)

I thought the server was just female.

So then it needs Niagara...

you know, to make them wet...

bada boom...

Bah! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908536)

We can do better!

Pedantic Politicians Propose Ponderous Pirate Prison Penalties Rejected

Apparently, Slashdot isn't going to cover that bill that's currently in the Judiciary Committee which would give prison penalties for merely having enough copyrighted files shared.

Right now, they have to prove that you're doing it to get copyrighted files in return (NET Act), or they don't get to send you to prison, pretty much (because you're not doing it for financial gain, and the NET Act is the thing that defined exchange of copyrighted works as "financial gain"). But IANAL, so don't take my word for it, read the current copyright laws [cornell.edu] for yourself. Beware, USC 17 is looooooooooonnnnng.....

Re:Nice title! (3, Funny)

sidb (530400) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908548)

I must get too much spam. For a second, I thought I saw Nigeria and Viagra in the same headline. D'oh.

Spell check Niagra - Niagara (1)

galtenberg (646020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908634)

Sun might want to sprinkle "Niagra" in its meta tags then.

Re:Spell check Niagra - Niagara (1)

GTRacer (234395) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909032)

Why? Niagara is correct, if you're talking about the big water falling gravity tourist thing.

And on Google, "Niagara" outnumbers "Niagra" almost 10:1.

GTRacer
- Niagara, Niagara was a good movie

Re:Nice title! (1)

sketerpot (454020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908639)

Well, it is from the best-title-evah department. You would expect a good title.

of course it will (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908752)

So, will more threads prop up Sun's performance?"

More is ALWAYS better. That's the American way!

Niagara falls! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908276)

To the might of IBM's Power CPU!

Re:Niagara falls! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908339)

Of course it does. CISC processors beat RISC processors for general purpose use every time.

Re:Niagara falls! (1)

mduell (72367) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908373)

Since when is Power a CISC processor?

Re:Niagara falls! (1)

PierceLabs (549351) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908619)

Dont confuse trolls with facts... it makes Baby CowboyNeal cry.

Will more threads prop up Sun's performance? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908282)

Not sure, but many threads here will discuss.

best-title-evah-my-arse dept. (2, Funny)

shadowcabbit (466253) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908285)

...what the hell? Sun is producing servers optimized to send spam now? What does it mean?!

Re:best-title-evah-my-arse dept. (0, Offtopic)

AtlanticGiraffe (749719) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908420)

Is anything more overused then using SQL in an attempt to be funny? Just a thought.

Re:best-title-evah-my-arse dept. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908542)

Hmm, not a very interesting, insightful or funny remark you made there. So where does that leave you?

Obl. linux whoring (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908286)

8 cores and 4 threads each

I am getting a boner so it must be. If it runs Linux, I will bust a nut right here.

\/.1.@GR@! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908288)

lets see your spam filter stop that one

Re:\/.1.@GR@! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908376)

# No, this isn't ASCII art.
# We stop a spammer ascii art trick here
/\\\// 550 Spam not allowed

What? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908289)

It hardens your old server? My server is still pretty new, so I guess it doesn't need it.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908472)

Harden your server! [gentoo.org]

Re:You can Never be TOO Hard, can you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908581)

You can never be TOO hard, can you?

Re:You can Never be TOO Hard, can you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908668)

well if its so hard it shatter like ice that could be bad, rite?

Re: What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908742)

Obviously, your main server will never go down, and will always give you peak performance, even at your busiest moments.

Geek porn! (5, Funny)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908291)

" Sun's upcoming parallel server processor with 8 cores and 4 threads each."

Without warning, underwear tents pop up all over the country.

Viagra? (4, Interesting)

DaHat (247651) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908303)

Good thing I didn't receive an e-mail about this story in my e-mail box or it would have been nuked as spam.

Seriously though, why did the author have to use the term Viagra to simple mean 'performance boost'?

Re:Viagra? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908335)

>Seriously though, why did the author have to use the term Viagra to simple mean 'performance boost'?

because he's a tit.

Re:Viagra? (1)

klang (27062) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908341)

something with "performance boost" in the title would have been nuked as well .. :-)

Re:Viagra? (1)

Lurker McLurker (730170) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908356)

Because 'performance boost' doesn't rhyme with Viagra.

Obviously.

Re:Viagra? (1)

irontiki (607290) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908518)

Seriously though, why did the author have to use the term Viagra to simple mean 'performance boost'

The Jargon File [catb.org] covers Geek Jargon Construction in Chapter 4, Soundalike Slang [catb.org] in this case

Imagine a beowulf cluster of... (-1, Redundant)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908311)

not these, probably far too expensive.

but a cluster of AMD64FX's... mmmmmmmmm...

Re:Imagine a beowulf cluster of... (1)

the MaD HuNGaRIaN (311517) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908394)

I got your cluster riiiight HERE [vt.edu]

Yay for me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908458)

I clicked on that link with trepidation, expecting to be goatse'd. Instead I got furry pr0n!

Re:Imagine a beowulf cluster of... (1)

menace3society (768451) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908434)

Who the hell needs a beowulf cluster of these? One will do ya.

Re:Imagine a beowulf cluster of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908572)

No, too expensive. Much better to go with a cluster of multiple 2-way opterons.

ah, the smell of a new computer . .. (5, Funny)

klang (27062) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908316)

works better than Viagra?

And why nerd dates are doomed to fail (4, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908896)

ah, the smell of a new computer . ..works better than Viagra?

"Honey, I need to open this box from Alienware first."

......nine hours later at the crack of dawn.

"Honey, I'm done playing counterstrike. We can go to bed now."

"Yeah right. I need to get to work."

Fluffers wanted (-1, Troll)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908350)

Now that Billy G and Scotty are buds, maybe they can send down some CPU fluffers from Redmond. After all, Microsoft specializes in keeping it up. Or so they say...

Will more threads prop up Sun's performance? (3, Interesting)

theM_xl (760570) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908352)

The obvious answer: Sure it will. Assuming the ability to have them will in fact be used by the software running on the thing - which may still take a while.

Re:Will more threads prop up Sun's performance? (5, Informative)

wfmcwalter (124904) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908670)

The only really significant change needs to be in the lower levels of Solaris' scheduler, so that it handles the context switches properly. Solaris already does that for existing SPARC architectures with thread level parallelism support. The only difference the OS sees is the caches and the number of available "slots" for running LWPs.

Of course, you'll only see a significant benefit when you've lots of threads in the run-ready state (which mostly happens when you have lots of threads, period). Given java's fondness for threads, and solaris' already outstanding handling of systems with thousands of threads, this seems like a smart optimisation choice.

So, with the necessary Solaris installed, your existing Tomcat running on your existing JVM will see all the benefits.

Re:Will more threads prop up Sun's performance? (2, Interesting)

platypus (18156) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908973)

So, with the necessary Solaris installed, your existing Tomcat running on your existing JVM will see all the benefits.

Not it won't. At least not so simply. It will see the benefits if there are enough concurrent threads running (as you said), and even that if these are not waiting for each other. So it will work for many clients at once.
I have my doubts that this architecture will help with most real world tasks - even real world server tasks - even with completely blown out of proportion threading like java seems to lead people to.
Let's face it, the reason Intel or IBM are not going into that direction that far are not that they couldn't if they wanted to.
It's more that they still have other tricks in their sleeves to ramp up their processor power, and Sun hasn't - or can't afford them.
For me this is the last desperate attempt from Sun to prolong their relevance in the processor arena.

Weird analogy... (5, Funny)

kclittle (625128) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908358)

Viagra is 'posed to make your one thing big and strong. Niagra is all about slicing and dicing one big thing into multiple threads. The mental image makes my knees ache...

Viagra more like Intel (1)

GunFodder (208805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908940)

Intel is working on longer pipelines for their fat-core architecture, at the cost of more heat.

As long as you wish. (-1, Redundant)

modifried (605582) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908366)

THE BENEFITS OF NIAGARA
  • 1. Gain Up To 3+* Full Inches In Length!
  • 2. Increase Your Band Width (Girth) By 20%!
  • 3. Stop Premature Ejaculation!
  • 4. Produce Stronger, Rock Hard Connections!
  • 5. 100% Safe To Take, With NO Side Effects!
  • 6. Fast Priority Shipping WorldWide!
  • 7. Doctor Approved And Recommended!
  • 8. No Pumps! No Surgery!
  • 9. 100% Money Back Guarantee!
  • 10. FREE Bottle Worth Almost $60!

Hanging in the balance (1)

sport_160 (650020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908380)

"So, will more threads prop up Sun's performance?" It seems to me that threads are more likely to hold something up in a suspended hanging manner, rather than prop in a pit pony wooden beam type fashion.

doh (3, Funny)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908395)


AMD is expected to eventually introduce a dual-core Opteron

If Opteron rhymed with Levitra, I could make a pretty funny joke here...

No (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908396)

Its sounds more like that stuff that lasts all weekend!

Dual core Opteron? (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908404)

I'm there.

(I figured that was going to happen 9 months ago when the 8-way systems weren't coming out... just waiting for the inevitable)

Re:Dual core Opteron? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908481)

Yes, and they announced them a while back too.

Of course this will be the direction Sun goes in. (5, Interesting)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908451)


It's the same thing that's been happening for the last decade. As x86 slowly creeps in on Sun/IBM/Whatever's market, they have to come up with something "bigger".

Right now, the Opteron, with embedded memory controller and gobs of I/O, has really entered what was previously a niche market that Sun made very nice profits from.

So, now that particular cash-cow has fallen to the ravages of commodity parts, they're moving their sites even higher. Sun's never been the company to make $5 profit on each of 50 million computers, they'd much rather make $300,000 each on 1,000 computers.

steve

Re:Of course this will be the direction Sun goes i (4, Interesting)

osewa77 (603622) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908608)

Yes, you're right. Except, of course, that the price to performance ratio of the X86 platform remains unmatched; X86-64 has removed some of the limitations of this platform; limitations that made it unsuitable for the high end, and now Intel has been forced to follow. I fear for Sun's long-term future. on the long run, value for money always wins in business. Or so I [afriguru.com] think.

Re:Of course this will be the direction Sun goes i (4, Interesting)

jone1941 (516270) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908675)

This actually brings up something that I have been thinking about recently, what classifies something as commodity hardware. It's not as if an opteron box can be had for a tremendously low price, HP's quad processor opteron box starts at approx $20K. I don't really consider that "commodity". Compare that to a quad Xeon box for $26K. And finally compare that to a quad box from sun, for approx $34K. None of those are what I would consider commodity. So what is commodity pricing?

'taint no CPU advances going to help Sun now (5, Interesting)

markc (42459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908455)

Any advances Sun may have in CPU performance will be greatly outweighed by two major engineering design flaws they've gotten themselves in to:

1. overall system performance of their partitionable systems (i.e. the ones people will pay a premium for over low-end systems where Linux on Intel/AMD is killing them) is severely hampered by their 150MHz (Mhz!) backplane. Sun views this as a plus because it allows customers to run boards with differenc CPU speeds (e.g. a 750MHz board (5x backplane speed) and a 900MHz board (6x backplane speed)). So, board to board thruput suffers and overall scalability is reduced.

2. Their desire for greater hardware isolation between domains, down to only a 2 or 4 CPU board with whatever memory happens to be installed on those boards, severely limits the flexibility in providing workload management between logical servers (domains), as well as less flexibility to create / deploy fewer, smaller servers. IBM's LPAR architecture, and HP's VPARs, are kicking Sun's ASS!

Re:'taint no CPU advances going to help Sun now (5, Interesting)

hotchai (72816) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908660)

What you say is absolutely true, but ...

1. It is an easier upgrade path for customers. I think Sun learnt that it is easier to sell its customers incremental upgrades than to sell them brand new designs. Remember that the market they sell to (telco, financial) absolutely despises having to test all their mission-critical applications on new, unproven hardware. So while the slow backplane is a performance limitation, many customers may prefer stability to cutting-edge performance.

2. Wait for the 'Zones' in Solaris 10 ... I've heard it is better than anything IBM & HP have to offer.

Re:'taint no CPU advances going to help Sun now (2, Interesting)

markc (42459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908773)

1. That must be why Sunfires are flying out the door...

2. They HAD to come up with something to counter LPARs, etc... the market shifted and they got caught with their domain's down at their ankles... of course, no doubt IBM and HP could (and frankly, maybe have) come up with something akin to zones / containers as well, ON TOP OF h/w LPARs... the fact remains, better h/w flexibility

Re:'taint no CPU advances going to help Sun now (4, Interesting)

dubious9 (580994) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908947)

I'm not sure about #1, but I always thought Sun had a much more vast throughput than Intels. I'm also not sure what you mean by "backplane", a quick wikipedia seems to suggest that it a simple bus of 1-1 pin mapping. Where is this used? Why does it matter? Even Mid-range Sun servers have a 9.6 GB/sec sustained throughput [sun.com] (Sun Fire Interplane Connect),

2. As with all things, there are cost/benefits to every feature. I'm sure there are applications that are better suited with greater hardware independance. Still I'm not sure what you mean here, are you advocating more manageability between CPU's and different domains (which is good for managing severals VM's?)? With a processor that has eight cores, you'd assume that one would be able to put a vm on each one with that vm, having four hardware threads available. How is IBM/HP's offering different?

Multi-threading and selectable IO channels (4, Interesting)

joelparker (586428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908460)

This Sun Niagra processor looks promising,
especially for server software that threads.

I'm especially intrigued on how this will
work with the Java NIO (new IO) libraries,
which handle pooled selectable IO channels.

Niagra and Java NIO together looks like
a really fast way to do mass serving...
Can anyone comment on threads sharing IO?

Re:Multi-threading and selectable IO channels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908725)

Which poetry form is that?
Or are you just having fun
with formatting?

Re:Multi-threading and selectable IO channels (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908916)

It almost has meter! Almost!

May I suggest this slight modification:

This Sun Niagra processor looks promising,
especially for software that threads.
I'm especially intrigued on how this
will effect Java IO overhead.

on-chip TCP/IP Offload Engine (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908888)

Niagara might have on-chip Ethernet controllers as well as an on-chip TCP/IP Offload Engine. For network intensive applications this could help performance in several ways. Firstly communication between the Ethernet controllers and the CPUs would be internal to the chip, and would not require using system bandwidth. With on-chip buffers, even I/O buffers in main memory could possibly be eliminated (or at least reduced) which would help reduce the burden on main memory bandwidth, as well as improving latency. Niagara also seems to have built-in SSL acceleration, which helps reduce CPU load and improve overall performance. It would be interesting if Niagara has hardware GZIP acceleration too, as dynamically compressing HTML pages for browsers which say they support it can achieve 10:1 to 20:1 compression ratios.

(excerpt from the article)

Memory subsystem? (5, Insightful)

anzha (138288) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908467)

I hope that they've made some vast improvements or they're gonna have some serious issues feeding that beast. Systems now, even the Opteron which is among the better mem controllers around for a commodity processor, still have issues with wait states. Uberthreading it and dumping more cores on the chip will only make the situation worse unless they do a serious upgrade of the memory controller.

If they do not, why pay bazillion bucks for a processor that is idle for most of the time?

Re:Memory subsystem? (2, Interesting)

iabervon (1971) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908667)

Sun doesn't make commodity processors, and they (at least in theory) have much better memory controllers already. Since it's a lot easier to improve the bandwidth on access to memory than the latency, it makes a lot of sense to uberthread their CPU, because they can move a lot of data in a single round-trip. If you have time to get 64 threads to their next cache misses in the time it takes to start getting data, and you can have 64 requests in flight at the same time, you're going to keep the processor 64 times as busy with a lot of threading than with a single thread per processor.

Re:Memory subsystem? (4, Informative)

Salamander (33735) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908709)

I hope that they've made some vast improvements or they're gonna have some serious issues feeding that beast. Systems now, even the Opteron which is among the better mem controllers around for a commodity processor, still have issues with wait states.

It's interesting that you should mention that, because one of the early multi-threaded processors (at Tera) was specifically designed to solve that problem. The theory was, and still is, that if one thread has to stall it's OK because there are still plenty of others that can keep running from cache. So no, you won't have N threads all running without waits and yielding N threads' worth of performance, but you'll still have enough live threads to give you more performance than you'd have with a single-threaded core.

Only time will tell which way it will really go. Most likely, there will be some workloads on which this approach works extremely well, some on which it provides no benefit, and a few on which you would have been better off with a "fat" single-thread CPU design. One thing to remember is that if the system has X threads, cache pollution and memory bandwidth are going to be problems either way. The fact that the multi-thread processor can still get some work done on some threads even while others are blocked waiting for memory will probably allow it to maintain an advantage over a faster single-thread processor that blocks completely more often.

Re:Memory subsystem? (4, Interesting)

sheddd (592499) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908727)

The reason for this multithreading per core is to reduce performance penalties while you're waiting for input. I think Sun's gone this route based on the assumptions:

1) Memory latency will be a bigger and bigger bottleneck in systems as cpu frequencies scale

2) Technology will not allow memory latency to keep pace with cpu frequency.

See ace's previous interview [aceshardware.com]

A snippet:

Chris Rijk [Ace's Hardware]: Stalled on waiting for data, basically.

Dr. Marc Tremblay: Yes. In large multiprocessor servers, waiting for data can easily take 500 cycles, especially in multi-GHz processors. So there are two strategies to be able to tolerate this latency or be able to do useful work. One of them is switching threads, so go to another thread and try to do useful work, and when that thread stalls and waits for memory then switch to another thread and so on. So that's kind of the traditional vertical multithreading approach. The other approach is if you truly want to speed up that one thread and want to achieve high single thread performance, well what we do is that we actually, under the hood, launch a hardware thread that while the processor is stalled and therefore not doing any useful work, that hardware thread keeps going down the code as fast as it can and tries to prefetch along the program path. Along the predicted execution path [it] will prefetch all the interesting data and by going along the predicted path [it] will prefetch all the interesting instructions as well.

Re:Memory subsystem? (1)

vwjeff (709903) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908733)

If they do not, why pay bazillion bucks for a processor that is idle for most of the time?

Why? Niagara sounds good. That's reason enough for many other products on the market.

Re:Memory subsystem? (1)

haggar (72771) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908869)

And you are exactly correct: an engineer-turned-marketer at Sun told me that the main point of the Niagara project is to dramatically improve throughput. Putting several cores onto one die is not the challenge here - the challenge is the memory manager and memory interface.

So do I have to see a doctor ? (4, Funny)

unixwin (569813) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908468)

If the processor runs for more than 4 hours continuously or if I have a heart condition?

WARNING! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908475)

If your server stays up for longer than 4 hours at a time, seek emergency medical attention!

Re:WARNING! (1)

Ilan Volow (539597) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909031)

If your server's uptime shows hundreds of sessions in the past two days with an impressive load average, to hell with medical attention.

Seek the nearest sorority house.

Unfortunately (3, Insightful)

4of12 (97621) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908486)


No matter how impressive the architecture happens to be, it will be evaluated by comparing it with a rack of P4's.

How many Power server systems does IBM ship compared with x86 systems?

Revenue per system might be better for high end systems, but the volume - the market size - is just not growing.

This just in from Las Vegas (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908491)

The over/under for the number of bad Viagra jokes that will be posted to this discussion is 184.5.

This could be HUGE (5, Interesting)

menace3society (768451) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908514)

If Sun doesn't cancel this one, it could put them back on the map for server & enterprise-class computing. Low power, awesome multi-threading capabilities, and software that could only be described as "bad-ass" (The 3D Desktop should be out by then) will give Sun a huge edge over everyone that would take years to catch up.

But that's a big "if."

Re:This could be HUGE (2, Interesting)

EatenByAGrue (210447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908766)

Sun doesn't have the R&D to keep up in this space. By the time 2006 rolls around, AMD, Intel and IBM will be closing any performance gap with this chip, and their higher volumes will ensure that they blow this out of the water in terms of price/performance. Sun is clinging to an image of itself that no longer works as a business model - hence years of huge losses and layoffs.

Re:This could be HUGE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908882)

3D desktop my ass.

Big iron is typically used for scientific apps, that don't even need a video card.

If you purchase these machines because the GUI is like all 3D and stuff you are complete idiot.

In the real world, people buy machines so they can do WORK!! WORK you moron! Go drool over your gameboy at home.

Re:This could be HUGE (1)

Wiz (6870) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908919)

One problem - what about for stuff which single threaded performance IS important? You can't use SMP for everything, not all tasks can be easily threaded.....

Re:This could be HUGE (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908989)

and software that could only be described as "bad-ass" (The 3D Desktop should be out by then)

lol! Yes, they've done some really innovative things lately, like packaging GNOME and selling it as the "Sun Java Desktop". Innovation gone wild! Under 18 not admitted...

And the vaunted "3D desktop" that isn't nearly as polished as http://www.hamar.sk/sphere/ from the looks of both of them AND has yet to come up with any practicality for the loss of CPU cycles. ( I'm not one of those idiots that still thinks Java is the beast it used to be in terms of running, but a 3D desktop can't SAVE any CPU time. )

My only concern: (4, Funny)

Powercntrl (458442) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908541)

Viagra only works where the sun doesn't shine!

Re:My only concern: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908819)

boo, hiss!

Re:My only concern: (1)

EdMack (626543) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908887)

I prefer sex with clothes off.

My god what have we done.... (2, Funny)

NIN1385 (760712) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908544)

The world is going to end if we ever give a computer viagra...I mean, it almost ended when we gave it to my grandpa...

Re:My god what have we done.... (1)

agent dero (680753) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908956)

it almost ended when we gave it to my grandpa

Some things you just don't admit to people man.

Questionable content. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908555)

I'm not sure jokes about unnatural sexual stimulents belong on a site dedicated to serious technical discussion, especially given that many of the participants are obviously minors. It doesn't present a good face to the public. Not very "family oriented" so to speak.

I hope the editors will exercise more restraint in their titles in the future. This sort of toilet humor is what led to the demise of Kuro5hin. [kuro5hin.org]

Sun is dead (2, Funny)

bwy (726112) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908590)

When can we expect the "Sun is dead" threads to reach the frequency of the "Apple is dead" threads? I await that day with great anticipation.

The Rock will flatten "Niagra" (5, Informative)

ColdDog (720667) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908595)

Not to destroy the lovely mental image in this thread. Well, here is the story, Sun is working on Niagra and the Rock. The Rock would combine the single-threaded approach of the UltraSparc product line with the multithreaded architecture of the Niagra processor ... check out the complete atricle [infoworld.com]

Sony, IBM, and Toshiba Have the Cell Processor (4, Interesting)

levram2 (701042) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908613)

The Cell processor follows the same design idea, if not more radical. Sony has cross licensed it to IBM and Toshiba. Toshiba is already planning on using Cell in high end processing.

The big question is if bandwidth constraints will choke these massively parallel superscalar processors.

No, it is not (-1, Flamebait)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908637)

That machine doesn't give me wood. Oh it's big enough, I'll give you that, and it IS neat. But you know that they'll end up being used to execute java for some lame webapp. That's just not exciting.

The faster powerbooks mentioned a few articles ago, now those give me wood. In fact, I think I'll go read that story some more. Oh yeah... Ooh yeah!

Sun no longer belongs in the processor design (3, Insightful)

EatenByAGrue (210447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908688)

As their staggering losses continue to mount, I believe its pretty well proven that Sun doesn't belong in the processor design business any longer. They simply can't achieve the volume required to support the massive R&D investments required. Even nifty tech as described, the majority of business applications don't care what processor is running underneath - its all a matter of price/performance. Sun isn't going to win price/performance against intel and AMD.

Now all we need... (2, Funny)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908718)

Now all we need is a simple to learn language built to be compiled for threaded servers, and we're all set!

Re:Now all we need... (0)

jrockway (229604) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908975)

J2EE? Seriously, this is Sun here. They're big supporters of Java :)

Get cheap $U|\N n-i-a-g-a-r-a serrvrs (5, Funny)

sulli (195030) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908751)

N e w _ g en er i c _ s u n _ servers

c l i c k here [64.124.140.199]

babble james tycoon motherfucker nabob carlin reilly bubblehead chomsky allergy morning comment plastic bellybutton bookmark gate askslashdot Produce diplopod digress superheterodyne derriere whiskery Antithetical dovekie anthropic unshaped cresol perfectly Pothook slaveholder unzip hotbox athodyd occur verderer Bilander Dacron imprecate bulbar costmary sciolism coco Refusal sclerous unequal missal erratic redroot monotypic

Yes, you should.... (1)

The Ape With No Name (213531) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908842)

MOD THIS PARENT UP.

Sun begins with S and so does Southpark (-1, Offtopic)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8908754)

Speaking of viagra, a shameless attempt at off-topic karma whoring: check out what happened when Macromedia asked Matt Stone and Trey Parker to come up with some content for them, i just wish i could have seen their faces when they watched this: here [redban.com] and here [triotv.com] (free registration needed :\)

For those complaining about Sun CPU performance... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8908897)

FYI, the server is using a single 500MHz UltraSparc IIe CPU... [aceshardware.com]

Why Niagra will suck (5, Informative)

TheLastUser (550621) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909046)

A great number of people use sparcs to run Oracle databases.

Current Oracle licensing schemes require that clients pay PER CPU CORE, for multi core processors. This screws anyone that uses Sun boxes, because the cores are US2 based. So the Oracle client has to pay heaps of cash to use, effectively, a 5 year old processor design. In addition, Oracle licensing requires that if your server has the capacity to hold more than 4 processors (eg cores) thes you have to pay the "enterprise" rates.

So in conclusion, the price of Oracle on a 2 cpu Xeon, AMD, or Ultra sparc 3 is about $6000. The price for Oracle on a 2 cpu Niagra (8 cores each) will be $320,000. Only an idiot will use this cpu (or this database). Since a lot of companies have a huge investment in Oracle, they will have no choice but to switch to x86 hardware. Sun is going to kill themselves with this design, despite the fact that the design, in itself, will greatly improve the throughput of their servers.

Oracle licensing is heavily slanted toward intel arcitecture, they have always penalized people for using risc based processors.
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