Sun to share processor details

Sun gives details of the world’s first open source processor, in a move that could boost the developer community in the Middle East.

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By  Daniel Stanton Published  February 23, 2006

Sun has given details of the world’s first open source (OS) processor, in a move that could boost the developer community in the Middle East. Jonathan Schwartz, president and COO of Sun Microsystems, formally unveiled the roadmap for OpenSparc, the open source project for the company’s new T1 processor, at the RSA security conference and said that it would be available under general public licence (GPL). “We’re growing our market opportunity by steadfastly open sourcing the entirety of our software portfolio — from the Solaris OS to Java developer tools — and now we’re taking the next step by open sourcing the world’s most innovative microprocessor under the GPL,” said Schwartz. “Giving our customers more choice and driving community innovation expands our economic opportunity and is forcing our competitors to sit up and take notice.” In his keynote speech, Schwartz detailed the first stages of open sourcing the UltraSparc T1 processor, publishing the chip architecture and HyperVisor application program interface (API) specification that will allow multi-OS support. “Delivering the capability to develop localised OS applications will enable the growing enterprise markets across the Middle East to accelerate their progression towards true grid computing and benefit from the advantages this offers to the enterprise,” said Chris Cornelius, MD Sun Microsystems Middle East. “We have seen a marked increase in the growth of the small to medium enterprise market in the Middle East, and hope to fuel this growth with increased uptake of open source software.” Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, said: “The free world welcomes Sun’s decision to use the Free Software Foundation’s GNU GPL for the freeing of OpenSparc. We’d love to see other hardware companies follow in Sun’s footsteps.”

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