Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sorry Cliff Saran: UltraSPARC T3 Almost Here!

A Very Wrong Prediction

The Bizarre Prediction:
Cliff Saran, the managing editor of ComputerWeekly.com made a terribly bizarre prediction that no one in their right mind could ever consider as reasonable - that the "SPARC roadmap looked dim". How did he come to that conclusion?

The Facts Missed:
During the Hot Chips 2009 conference, there was a clear description of the architecture for the up and coming UltraSPARC 3 , at that point named Rainbow Falls. There was also a next generation crypto engines presentation. Clearly, had Cliff had not been watching the discussions from February 2010 about the 2 Billion Transistor UltraSPARC T3. Also missed was the code update in OpenSolaris for the official name UltraSPARC T3. Cliff apparently missed the additional code updates from OpenSolaris in July 2010 leveraging the official naming for the UltraSPARC T3.

The Freudian Slip:
Oracle held a web conference today (Tuesday August 10, 2010) talking about the SPARC roadmap, slipped [typo'ed?] a piece of information. Timothy Prickett Morgan covered the announcement from The Register (thanks for the screen shots!) indicating that the current generation of UltraSPARC has 512 threads (which is only possible on an UltraSPARC T3.) It seems like something was only partially redacted from the presentation, since the UltraSPARC T3 in a 4 sockets configuration should offer 64 cores with those 512 threads.

The Revelation:
Furthermore, John Fowler (formerly of Sun and now in Oracle) publicly released this rough image detailing the SPARC roadmap for the next 5 years.

The Conclusion:
For an industry managing editor to publish such a bizarre prediction in the headline of an article in his journal, discounting the information ringing in the development circles, and to be so wrong about his prediction just days before a formal announcement... indicates this editor is not an insider who has a tap on reality.

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