Sun gives UltraSparc chips a power boost

Sun Microsystems has brought out faster UltraSparc IV+ processors, continuing to promote its homegrown chips while selling servers with processors from rivals Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.

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Sun Microsystems has brought out faster UltraSparc IV+ processors, continuing to promote its homegrown chips while selling servers with processors from rivals Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.

Sun said the 1.95GHz and 2.1GHz UltraSparc IV+ processors would be available in its Sun Fire line of servers. The previous-generation UltraSparc IV+ processors operate at 1.8GHz.

In tests, the latest UltraSparc IV+ processors ran twice as fast as the UltraSparc IV and five times faster than the UltraSparc III, according to Sun.

The 1.95GHz processor is designed to run in Sun Fire E2900 and E6900 servers, while the 2.1GHz processor can run in those and five other server models.

UltraSparc processors are part of the reason Sun has enjoyed faster growth in the server market than competitors, Sun said. IDC figures show Sun's global server revenue grew by 24.4% to $1.47bn (£700m) in the fourth quarter of 2006, compared with $1.18bn (£600m) the same period of 2005. Other vendors' revenue grew only by single digits.

Even though its server market share grew in the fourth quarter to 9.7% from 8.2% a year earlier, Sun still trailed behind market leader IBM's 37.9% share and Hewlett-Packard's 26.8% share.

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