It may be a "systems" company, but Sun Microsystems isn't ready to talk systems where its Niagara-based line of servers are concerned. Instead, Sun today dribbled out a single detail around Niagara - now officially named the UltraSPARC T1 - saying that the processor has started to arrive in volume at 1.2GHz.
This won't surprise many regular Register readers, as we've already revealed Sun's Niagara-based server plans in detail. By year end, Sun will deliver low-end boxes aimed at handling web and application server software. Documents seen by El Reg tout the Sun Fire T2000 as the flagship Niagara system, and there are plenty more details on the box available here.
For some reason, Sun refuses to confirm the existence of these Niagara-based servers even though Solaris source code and its own web pages are littered with references to the systems. You can expect Sun to officially unveil the boxes at a Dec. 6 event, and they'll ship in volume this year.
Sun doesn't want to talk about this URL
We've talked so much about the UltraSPARC T1 that it's hard to get too excited about the product at this point. The main item of note is that Sun will ship all Niagara chips at 1.2GHz instead of releasing a 1.0GHz version as well, as it once planned.
The chip will pull only 70 watts, making it one of the coolest server parts. Sun has started touting these "cool threads" as the reason Niagara-based systems will be some of the most reliable, cost-effective boxes.
Piggybacking on the green computing idea that has started to dominate the server industry, Sun pitches the Niagara chip as a part any hippie would love.
"The impact on our environment is real: If half of the entry servers sold in the last three years were replaced with the UltraSPARC T1 processors, over 11 million tons of CO2 emissions, or the equivalent of that emitted by about 1,000,000 SUVs, would be eliminated each year," Sun said.
We can't wait for Sun to roll out a new fleet of systems that run on bio-diesel. ®