Sun Microsystems is remaining tight lipped about its next-generation processors, saying only that it is working on three different chip designs.
The company plans to release its Niagara II chip by the second half of this year, a faster and more power-efficient version of its current T1.
The most notable improvement for the Niagara II will be a doubling of the number of threads. With its four processor cores featuring 16 threads each, the processor will be able to perform 64 calculations simultaneously.
But Sun has declined to elaborate on the future Rock and Advanced Processor Line chips. Rock is slated for release by 2008. The APL chips were originally promised for 2006, but are now on schedule for a launch in the first half of 2007.
John Fowler, executive vice president of systems at Sun, declined to give out any details on the positioning for the two chips and their relative differences at a meeting with reporters on Friday.
"That would be giving away the thinking around Rock systems," he quipped.
First announced in 2004, the APL is being developed in partnership with Fujitsu. At the time of the unveiling, company executives described the chip as a mainframe competitor that will replace Sun's current UltraSparc IV.
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