Today, we at Sun had a server announcement, and so did IBM. Get yer hot links & pix here.

If you want the official story, there’s Scale More With Less on the Sun site, and it’s perfectly harmless. But fortunately, the engineers organized a blog flurry with linkage aggregated by Allen Packer in Sun’s CMT goes multi-chip which has as much geek-level detail as you can possibly handle.

I’m in California today in meetings on the Sun campus, so for the first time I wandered by an actual launch event, which involves free food and beer. Sun’s campus is usually mostly pretty quiet, with the engineers holed up either in meeting rooms or behind their screens, but the launch drew a crowd:

Sun T5140/T5240 launch event at Menlo Park

I was amused that the food, and beer even, was lightly patronized, but the Sunnies had their hands all over the hot iron:

Sun staff paw over the iron at the T5140/T5240 launch

That’s 16 8-thread cores at 1.2GHz in 1U (or at 1.4GHz in 2U), which is to say a whole butt-load o’ cycles in not much space.

Wow, those T2 Plus processors are supposed to be about low-wattage, high-efficiency, but that’s a lot of copper glommed onto each of ’em. Which brings me to the competition. You gotta give IBM credit for independent thinking. Resolutely ignoring the many-core low-GHz trend exemplified by the new T2 Plus, they’re shipping a 5GHz part. Yeah, water-cooled, no shit; I’m wondering what all the pumpage and pipeage and so on must look like, and how many watts one of these suckers pulls. I totally think that’s a dead end in processor architecture, but still, it’s heroic engineering.



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From: James Snell (Apr 09 2008, at 22:48)

I could actually find out just how efficient the new IBM systems are given that our internal hosting lab is getting a couple as part of our "energy efficient data center" renovation. I was just up in the lab a few weeks ago and got to look around at the new water cooling system going in. The new data center, with the P6's will be allowing us to do way more than we could before while sucking down a lot less power. Anyway, I'm not sure what numbers they've released publicly yet but I can certainly find out specifics if you're interested.

However, I actually don't find any value in playing the "My company's products are more efficient than your company's products" game. It's excellent to see both Sun and IBM actively engaged in figuring out ways to scale more efficiently.

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From: Michael Ellerman (Apr 10 2008, at 02:32)

IBM did have something to do with that "Cell processor" thing I hear :)

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From: Thierry Bernard (Apr 10 2008, at 16:23)

The model that uses the 5 GHZ processor (the 595) is not water cooled. The model that is water cooled is the 575 which has 4.7 GHZ processors and uses that cooling to pack them more densely.

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April 09, 2008
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