With the ever-continuing race between AMD and Intel, it sometimes seems that there is nothing else in the processor field but these two behemoths. On the contrary, there is a whole range of other manufacturers, including Sun, who are hard at work. A good example are the new servers with CoolThreads technology, made by Sun. These paint a whole different picture of the development of dual and quad core processors than is done by Intel or AMD. Sun equips each processor with eight cores, which can manage up to 32 threads simultaneously. In this in-depth article we'll dive deeper into the technology at work behing this feat.
No one can deny that Sun has hit a rough patch, but time and time again they don't fail to surprise the market with their well thought-out products. What Apple is for the desktop world, Sun is for networking and server solutions. The real power of the company came and comes in the clever combination of hardware and software. At Sun, processors, servers and software are all developed together to make for a well-tuned product. The company by now enjoys a wide product range, from the familiar Sparc-based products to X86-based servers.
These we find at the bottom of the company's range. After a shaky start in this particular sector, it was proven in a large server test last year that the newly-introduced Sun Fire X2100, X4100 and X4200 offer an attractive and mature server solution. It's not just the low price of the machines, which are based on low-energy AMD Opteron processors, but also the construction and management options which allow Sun to compete with other big companies in the server world. Sun introduced support for the Windows platform for the first time, which is very convenient if you want to pitch for a server brand and want to use that popular operating system, and Linux, as well as Sun's own powerful Solaris 10 Enterprise operating system.