Sun Microsystems may be about to drop its plans to release a new multi-core processor codenamed Rock.
The company has been talking up the chip, which was expected to have 16 cores on a single die, for the past couple of years, but the expected release date in 2008 has come and gone and the company is reportedly dropping the entire project.
A report in The New York Times cited anonymous sources within the company as saying that the chip has been beset with flaws and is being dropped.
The Rock processor was designed for high-end server systems and would have allowed multithreaded data flows over its 16 cores. Sun currently buys its high-end processors from Fujitsu, and the two companies have been collaborating on Rock for many years.
Even if the reports are accurate, the abandoning of Rock would not be a serious issue for Sun. Oracle has said that it intends to continue in the server space once its takeover of Sun is complete, and the company can still buy chips from third-party suppliers.
Dropping the Rock processor would save Sun many millions of dollars in research and production costs, and there are suggestions that Oracle may have pulled the plug.
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