McNealy touts planned eight-core processor

Scott McNealy, president and chief executive officer of Sun Microsystems, toured Asia's biggest IT markets recently, personally delivering his company's big news -- Sun is shipping this year an eight-core processor capable of 32 simultaneous threads.

McNealy, who chatted with a handful of IT journalists from the Asia South region here in this city state in between his trips to China and Japan, announced Sun's new AMD Opteron-based servers and kicked off what the company calls the 'age of participation.'

Sun's newly-launched 64-bit Opteron-based servers, collectively called Sun Fire, are already creating a buzz among corporate customers. These new servers will run Solaris 10, Linux, and Windows and are expected to support the planned eight-core processors later this year.

The Sun Fire is based on the designs of Andy Bechtolsheim, one of the original founders of Sun. These machines, code-named Galaxy during production, run on AMD's 64-bit processor but the bigger news, McNealy said, is that they are '60 percent more energy-efficient, 60 times faster, half the cost, and a quarter of the size of a comparably-configured server from Dell Computers.'

'We've really taken on the Dell and HP gang very aggressively,' he said.

Sun plans to release an eight-core processor later in the year or in 2006 that will power the Sun Fire family of servers; it will support 32 simultaneous threads and run on 60 to 70 watts.