Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th Mar 2007 22:24 UTC
Oracle and SUN Sun Microsystems has launched a new business unit to sell its Sparc processors, a return to an idea it had dropped years ago. David Yen, currently executive vice president of storage but previously in charge of Sun's Sparc work, will lead the new group and retain his executive VP status, the company said Thursday.
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RE[3]: SPARC's dead Jim
by crystall on Wed 28th Mar 2007 10:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: SPARC's dead Jim"
crystall
Member since:
2007-02-06

Sun's a much smaller company and has an even worse position with respect to competing with Intel. They're about where Intergraph was in '89, except that unlike Intergraph, they don't have the option of dropping their own processor and going to using Intel, er, wait, they've already started doing that. . .

I don't see how the two compare. Intergraph core business was in the workstation market, not servers and they never designed their own processor line completely in-house. The Clipper processors they used at the time were developed by Fairchild and then the line was bought by Intergraph. The only 100% in-house design they had (the C5) was ultimately axed. On top of that I don't see why Sun couldn't transition to Intel processors. Their newly reborn x86 business is doing very well and suggests the contrary. Their success there was also quite surprising as they entered that very crowded market very late.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: SPARC's dead Jim
by Cloudy on Wed 28th Mar 2007 17:12 in reply to "RE[3]: SPARC's dead Jim"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

I don't see how the two compare. Intergraph core business was in the workstation market, not servers and they never designed their own processor line completely in-house. The Clipper processors they used at the time were developed by Fairchild and then the line was bought by Intergraph. The only 100% in-house design they had (the C5) was ultimately axed.


The C5 wasn't the only completely in-house design. The C300 was designed in-house after the C5 cancelled and was Intergraph's last Clipper based product.

The similarity was that both companies were in the processor design business with far too small budgets and far too small of a chip run to justify the R&D. The C300 was done on 10% of the budget of a typical Intel turn and the corner cutting that required showed up in the product being not competitive.

On top of that I don't see why Sun couldn't transition to Intel processors. Their newly reborn x86 business is doing very well and suggests the contrary. Their success there was also quite surprising as they entered that very crowded market very late.


This is why it would be a mistake to claim that Sun is "dead". They're dying, but something like that might save them. On the other hand, it is a very crowded market and it requires that sun focus on being an integrator rather than a full system developer.

Having watched CDC try to reinvent itself and fail I have significant doubts about Sun.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: SPARC's dead Jim
by crystall on Wed 28th Mar 2007 20:59 in reply to "RE[4]: SPARC's dead Jim"
crystall Member since:
2007-02-06

The similarity was that both companies were in the processor design business with far too small budgets and far too small of a chip run to justify the R&D. The C300 was done on 10% of the budget of a typical Intel turn and the corner cutting that required showed up in the product being not competitive.

Sun is not in the processor design business, they don't sell processors, they sell systems, services and lately even software. Processor design is only part of their operations and it the last few years they have differentiated and are now in a much better situation than in the past where they were entirely reliant on their offerings. That said this announcement shows that they are willing to sell their in-house processors to external customers not that they are betting the company on processor design alone. On the contraray there is no mention that they will increase their focus on processor design, lately they have been working on designs which have inherently a lower development cost than more traditional processors and they probably hope to be able to sell them to third parties instead of using them exclusively.

Reply Parent Score: 2