Sun Announces Dual-Core Technology Across Entire x64 Server Product Line

Helps cut operational expenditures, saving customers up to $2 million in energy costs; Delivers world-record performance; Prices 8-way server same as 4-way

NEW YORK and SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 21, 2005 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today introduced its first dual-core server based on the new industry-standard Dual-Core AMD Opteron[TM] processor, and announced dual-core for its entire x64 product line. The Sun Fire V40z server powered by AMD64 dual-core technology, is an enhanced 4-socket, 8-way server that integrates four microprocessors – each with two complete CPU cores. The dual-core architecture is designed to help customers achieve twice the performance and power efficiency over competitive x64 single-core server offerings based on Intel processors, resulting in half the operational costs that include power and cooling – in some cases saving customers an average of $2M annually per year(1).

"Our new dual-core server can deliver double the value to customers for their hardware investment. In some cases, the Sun Fire V40z servers powered by dual-core can take up to 60 percent less rack and floor space, require 50 percent less memory, disk space and I/O capacity, and cost less 50 percent less per node to manage than Xeon MP equivalent servers," said John Fowler, executive vice president, Network Systems Group for Sun Microsystems, Inc. "In addition, we've already seen great customer traction for our x64 systems. We are the only major server vendor that has grown AMD Opteron processor factory revenue market share every quarter since announcing our first server based on the industry-standard AMD Opteron processor(2)."

Sun Delivers Nearly Twice the Value in One; Outperforms HP and Dell

The Sun Fire V40z server with dual-core is designed to require only 42 percent of the power needed to support the same number of processor cores in servers using the Intel XeonMP processors(3), and runs virtually any operating system (OS), including Solaris, standard Linux distributions or Windows. Sun's line of x64 servers equipped with single-core processors are also designed to be easily upgradeable to Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors which in many cases may be as simple as replacing the processors and refreshing the BIOS (basic input/output system).

The Sun Fire V40z server equipped with the Dual-Core AMD Opteron processor has achieved a world-record floating point throughput performance for all 8-way, x86-compatible systems. With this result the dual-core Sun Fire V40z server demonstrates more than 2.5X the performance of competitive 4-processor single-core servers such as the HP ProLiant ML570 G3 and the Dell PowerEdge 6850 equipped with the newest Intel Xeon MP EM64T-capable processor(5). This benchmark addresses the advantages of the new AMD dual-core technology when compared to the traditional single-core systems.

Additionally, customers will be able to purchase an 8-way server equipped with the Dual-Core AMD Opteron processor Model 875 and 16GB of memory for about the same price as a 4-way server powered with the single-core AMD Opteron processor Model 850(4) when it was first introduced last year, for $38,995 U.S. list price. The new dual-core Sun Fire V40z server will be generally available in May.

Solaris 10 Uniquely Positioned to Harness the Power of Dual-Core Systems

Sun brings 20 years of Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) systems expertise to the AMD64 platform and Solaris 10 OS is the third release of the OS designed to support multi-core systems. Innovative Solaris 10 technologies like Solaris Containers, Predictive Self Healing and Dynamic Tracing (DTrace), are multi-core aware and designed to take advantage of the AMD64 architecture, while multi-core features specific to Solaris on Sun Fire servers such as Memory Placement Optimization (MPO) and scheduler enhancements are also supported. For example, Predictive Self-Healing allows users to automatically detect failing cores and take them offline without taking the entire CPU offline or affecting application availability. Customers can also protect their Solaris investment since all existing Solaris OS applications can immediately access all the benefits of multi-core platforms without modification or recompilation.

The combination of Solaris 10 and AMD64 has proven to be a powerful combination and will allow organizations to unleash the technology's true performance potential. To date, Solaris 10 OS has achieved more than 12 record-setting benchmarks on AMD64 hardware, four of which were based on multi-core systems.

"Sun and AMD have collaborated once again to deliver some of the industry’s most powerful industry-standard servers that take full advantage of AMD64 dual-core technology," said Marty Seyer, corporate vice president and general manager, Microprocessor Business Unit, Computation Products Group, AMD. "Our combined leadership is resulting in significant performance boosts and power efficiencies in the enterprise data center, as evidenced by these impressive Solaris 10 benchmarks on Sun platforms powered by Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors. AMD64 enables an inherent time-to-market advantage, lower cost of design, reduced support costs and potentially lower cost of operations advantage. We will continue to support Sun’s plan for a full x64 product line based on dual-core AMD64 technology and work together to bring multi-core, 64-bit computing to the masses."

The 8-way, SMP server powered by the Dual-Core AMD Opteron processor Model 875 (2.2GHz) can support both 32-bit and 64-bit applications simultaneously with full compatibility between modes. The server's design can help enable faster computations and lower cost per database transaction, and its high-density form factor comes in a compact, cost-saving 3U rack, lowering the overall physical space requirements when compared to competitive 4U equivalents.

"While several competitors have abandoned their plans to build out their x64 product line up to a 16-way, Sun has plans to deliver a product line that extends up to eight dual-core processors – 16-way performance in a single system. Over the next year, you'll see more competitive aggressive moves from us – and I'm not just talking about dual-core configurations for our Sun Fire V20z server that is planned for later this summer," Fowler added.

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