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Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced the OpenSPARC project to open source its new breakthrough UltraSPARC(R) T1 processor design point. Sun also announced plans to publish specifications for the UltraSPARC-based chip, including the source of the design expressed in Verilog, a verification suite and simulation models, instruction set architecture specification (UltraSPARC Architecture 2005) and a Solaris OS port. The goal is to enable community members to build on proven technology at a markedly lower cost and to innovate freely. The source code will be released under an Open Source Initiative (OSI)-approved open source license. With this ground breaking move to open source the UltraSPARC T1 code, Sun hopes to spur innovation for massively-threaded systems and “system-on-a-chip” design through increased participation in processor architecture development and ... (more)

Sun Reveals Open Source Plans for Niagara Chip

While it was busy launching its new Niagara-based servers in New York Tuesday, Sun Microsystems said it would open source the UltraSparc T1 processor that was code named Niagara. It's calling the project OpenSparc. At this point it's more a statement of intent than a fait accompli. The program isn't supposed to kick off until late in the first quarter after Sun addresses key issues such as implementation and governance. Back in 1999 Sun released its complete MicroSparc IIep design for free under the Community Source License, also used for Java to try to make its chip designs more popular. Companies that used and sold the embedded chip were supposed to pay Sun 3% of the average selling price by way of royalty but would have saved hundreds of thousands in licensing fees. Again Sun it apparently hopeful of triggering a few derivatives. It claims the idea behind OpenSparc i... (more)

IBM Taps Global Network of Innovation Centers to Fuel Linux on Power Systems for Big Data and Cloud Computing

CHICAGO, Aug. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- At the LinuxCon North America conference today, IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced it is tapping into its global network of over 50 IBM Innovation Centers and IBM Client Centers to help IBM Business Partners, IT professionals, academics, and entrepreneurs develop and deliver new Big Data and cloud computing software applications for clients using Linux on IBM Power Systems servers.  Last year IBM committed $1 billion in new Linux and open source technologies for its Power Systems servers including the opening of five new Power Systems Linux Centers in Beijing, China, New York, New York, Austin, Texas, Montpelier, France and Tokyo, Japan.  Today over 1500 ISV applications are available for Linux on Power, fueled in part by work performed at these centers. IBM is adding Power Systems Linux services to its Innovation and Client Centers t... (more)

Atheros Creates First Single-Chip Cellular Solution

Atheros Communications, a leading developer of advanced wireless solutions, today announced the company's first cellular solution, the Atheros AR1900. In a single chip, the AR1900 implements a complete cellular transceiver, baseband, application processor, audio paths, power management, and keypad, display and USB interfaces. Through this high level of integration coupled with the addition of new industry leading features, the AR1900 enables industry-leading performance at a price that is designed to fuel further market growth. The AR1900 is the first product to leverage a platform of innovative technologies developed by Atheros over the last year, including audio, voice, low-power battery operation and novel RF architectures. The AR1900 is the world's first single-chip solution for PHS (Personal Handyphone System), which is widely deployed in China, Japan, Taiwan and... (more)

SoftJin Announces Continued Interest in Its Free GDSII to OASIS Translator

SANTA CLARA, CA and BANGALORE, INDIA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 12/20/05 -- SoftJin, an EDA (Electronic Design Automation) software development services company, today announced its free source code for Anuvad*, a suite of GDSII-OASIS libraries and GDSII to OASIS translator, has been downloaded by over 400, since its introduction last year (November, 2004). The downloaders include large IDMs, foundries, mask shops, EDA tool suppliers, fabless semiconductor companies, design services companies and design consultants from over 40 countries. The GDSII to OASIS translator in Anuvad compresses GDSII design files by up to 20x. SoftJin released Anuvad to accelerate OASIS-based tool development by commoditizing the basic infrastructural libraries for GDSII and OASIS, and making them freely available as source code. An Anuvad license enables users to use, enhance and modify the so... (more)

Sun Creates Independent OpenSPARC Advisory Board, Includes New Linux Distribution

Sun Microsystems announced the creation of an independent OpenSPARC Community Advisory Board. The board is chartered with setting the direction for OpenSPARC, a community that fosters the creation of tools and derivative chip designs based on Sun's breakthrough UltraSPARC T1 processor. The community now includes a new GNU/Linux distribution, Gentoo Linux, which is supporting UltraSPARC T1 in the latest release of its popular open source operating system (OS), and the first published derivative of the chip design from Simply RISC. "To grow we can't just rely on upgrading our installed base, we have to go after new customers, and that's what open source helps us do," said John Fowler, executive vice president of Sun's systems group. "OpenSolaris is clearly a runaway hit, and the OpenSPARC program helps us accelerate our adoption rate into the new, emerging Web 2.0 mar... (more)

Sun Introduces Netra Dataplane Software Suite for the Telecom Market

Sun Microsystems has introduced its Netra Dataplane Software (NDPS) Suite for the telecom market. Sun's new software is the first standardized tool to quickly and efficiently deliver dataplane applications for the aggregation, transport and routing of voice, video, and data for the telecommunications network. NDPS, which runs on Sun's Netra CoolThreads servers, makes it faster and less expensive for telecom customers to develop and deploy packet processing throughout the network. "By delivering the first high-performance packet processing engine on Sun's CoolThreads servers, we are showing that Sun's general purpose OpenSPARC processors are ideal for pervasive IP networks," said Raju Penumatcha, vice president, Netra Systems and Networking, Sun Microsystems. "NDPS along with the Solaris 10 Operating System (OS) on CoolThreads will dramatically cut costs and time to ... (more)

Nehalem Goes Mainstream

Intel's Lynnfield chips, the widgets meant to drive its newfangled Nehalem architecture into the mainstream, arrived on Tuesday. The new dumbed-down 45nm arrivals include three quad-core desktop devices officially designated the Core i5 750, i7 860 and i7 870 clocking 2.66GHz, 2.8GHz and 2.93GHz respectively and priced, respectively, at $196, $284 and $562 in quantity, the 800-series i7 being cheaper than the existing carriage trade i7 900-series, which starts at ~$280. The difference between the 800-series and the 900-series rests with the width of the built-in memory interface and the amount of RAM throughput and the number of processing threads supported. Mercury Research thinks the chips could entice people to upgrade. Oh, yes, and let's not forget the desktop's P55 express chipset, which Intel claims incorporates "the most revolutionary design changes since the ... (more)

On2 Technologies Releases First VP6 Hardware Video Decoder

On2 Technologies announced that it has released its new flagship hardware video decoder design, the Hantro(TM) 9190. The 9190 is the tenth generation of the Hantro line of decoders, which are deployed in hundreds of millions of chips worldwide. The 9190 design supports video playback up to full HD (1080p) resolution at 60 frames per second (fps) in multiple formats including On2 VP6 for Adobe Flash Player and Sun JavaFX, DivX 3, 4, 5, 6, H.264, H.263, Sorenson Spark, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VC-1/WMV9 and RealVideo 8, 9 & 10, as well as up to 66 megapixel JPEG still images. "We are very excited to release the Hantro 9190," said Jani Huoponen, General Manager, On2 Finland. "We have already licensed the On2 VP6 decoding technology in the 9190 design to several semiconductor companies, which indicates to us how eager the market is to have VP6 decoding directly availab... (more)

EC Cuts Deal with Rambus

Chip Design Journal  The European Commission has come to terms with Rambus, which has pledged to put a cap on the royalties it charges for its DRAM patents in exchange for the regulator dropping its monopoly abuse investigation without a fine. Rambus currently charges 3.5%. From now on royalties on earlier chip standards will go to zilch and later ones just 1.5%, according to the Wall Street Journal. Rambus has spent a lot on lawyer to persuade regulators on both sides of the pond it didn’t commit patent ambush by getting its IP written into standards without disclosing it held the royalty-bearing patents. ... (more)

Cougar Point Fallout

After Intel disclosed its billion-dollar Cougar Point chipset flub Monday, Samsung said it will offer the people who bought 2,000-3,000 of its PCs that carry the tainted widget a refund or exchange on Intel's dime. NEC told Bloomberg that it would probably delay shipping four new models. HP has canceled a business notebook announcement scheduled for February 10, stopped making desktops and laptops with the chip and halted shipments. It's offering refunds or exchanges. Dell's got kit impacted in its XPS, Vostro and Alienware lines and has halted production. It will either take machines back or replace the motherboards when it gets the fixed chipset from Intel. Asustek reportedly shipped a lot of product and is recalling it. According to Bloomberg it expects its February revenues to be off by $35 million. Apple is reportedly unaffected. Well, at least it's not saying ... (more)