Sun Microsystems is keeping quiet about the three next generation
processors it has on the drawing board.
Sun has been fairly forthcoming about the release of the Niagara II chip in the second half of this year,but the trade press has been strangely quiet. Niagara II is a faster and power-friendly version of the T1 processor. Sun has promised that it will double the number of threads that each of its four processor cores can handle. With 16 threads, the processor should be able to perform 64 calculations at the same time.
Comments on the Advanced Processor Line (APL) chips which are also expected in
the first half of 2007 are fewer and the Rock chip which is believed to be released
in 2008 are non-existant. Sun's executive
vice president of systems John Fowler said that he didn't want to give away any
of the thinking that is
going behind the Rock.
It is also possible that Sun does not want to get caught out by providing false expectations. The APLline was supposed to be released last year and failed to make it. Initially it was designed as a mainframe competitor that will replace Sun's current UltraSparc IV, however it is not clear if that is what Sun still
has in mind.
Certainly the company has no interest in clarifying anything about it at the moment.