Sun Microsystems has confirmed that its Open Solaris operating system will be ready to use new features on the forthcoming Intel Nehalem processor range before it actually launches.
The company has been working for the past 18 months to develop platforms running Solaris and Open Solaris on Intel architecture.
Herb Hinstorff, director of business management at Sun, told vnunet.com that some code has already been optimised for Nehalem.
"By this autumn we want all Nehalem features ready on Open Solaris before the new processors are released," he said.
"Every six months we do a total refresh of Open Solaris. The first release was in May so the new release will come six months later in November."
This gives a clearer picture of Intel's release cycle, since the chip maker has not yet disclosed a final release date for Nehalem. Full release times are expected to be announced at the next Intel Developer Forum in August.
Some of the new features of the processor will include simultaneous multithreading which allows one core to be virtualised into many. This was a feature of the Pentium 4 family but was dropped for the Core 2 Duo platform.
Power management and reliability are also going to be improved. The Open Solaris platform running on Nehalem will offer system administrators a lot more options before shutting down a system.
"It can take what would be a fatal error and turn it into a simple memory error," said Andy roach, senior director of X64 engineering at Sun.
"This would allow hot-swapping to keep systems up and running. It is about using various levels of fault management."
Hinstorff also explained that the cooperation with Intel had proved very beneficial to the company. Almost 1,000 Intel systems are now capable of running Solaris, and Sun has claimed a huge uptake of Open Solaris.
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