Storage outfit Oracle has said it will halve the number of cores in its next Sparc processor and instead improve its single-thread performance.
According to a recently released Oracle road map the T4, will have eight cores on each chip, down from 16 in the current Sparc T3. Both will run the same eight compute threads per core. Currently chip makers have been boosting performance by adding cores. The Sparc 3 was the first 16-core server processor on the market.
However while chips with high core counts are good at jobs that can be broken into many smaller parts they are not so good at database and ERP applications. It looks like Oracle is positioning Sparc as a general purpose processor and made the T4 more balanced.
Oracle has been doing well selling its high-end M series servers based on the Sparc64 VII+ processor designed by Fujitsu because it has strong single-thread performance. Fujitsu recently announced a Sparc64 VII+ that doubles the cache size over the current chip and increases the clock speed to 3.0GHz.