The new servers target so-called back-end systems that run enterprise applications such as enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management software, as well as high performance computing applications.
The new chip is referred to as the Sparc64 VI and replaces Sun's Sparc4+ and Fujitsu's Sparc64 V processors. The two companies started working on the new chip in June 2004 under the Advanced Product Line codename.
The new processor features two cores, and quad-core upgrades are planned for the future. Chips running at 2.15GHz come with 5MB of L2 cache and the 2.28GHz to 2.4GHz models offer 6MB of L2 cache.
Each core also has four floating point operations, a feature that allows better performance in high performance computing applications.
The companies plan to release benchmarks for specific workloads at a launch event in New York later today.
In a briefing last week, the two companies would only say that the new chips on average perform 50 per cent better than their predecessors.
Sun, Fujitsu and Fujitsu Siemens will start selling systems that are essentially identical, including their product names.
The rack-mountable midrange M4000 and M5000 feature four and eight processors respectively. Prices range from $50,000 to $200,000.
The M8000 and M9000 are cabinet sized servers with 16 to 64 processors at prices ranging from $200,000 to several million dollars. The servers support Solaris 10 and there are no plans to add support for additional operating systems at this stage.
Sun and Fujitsu position the systems as competitors to IBM's P-series mainframe systems and HP's Integrity Itanium servers.
"These systems are designed to solve the world's most complex computing problems where reliable and heavy lifting computing is needed. It is mainframe heritage reliability at open system prices," said Bob McGaughey, director of enterprise servers at Sun's Systems Marketing Group.
The chip was originally slated for release in 2006, but was delayed because more time was needed to design the actual servers.
The delay in the launch puts the server close to the release of Sun's upcoming Rock processor. Due out in 2008, the chip is expected to outshine the Sparc64 VI and will target the same back-end systems.
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