Volume 3, Number 5 -- February 9, 2006

Fujitsu-Siemens Cranks the Clock on Sparc V Chips for PrimePowers

Published: February 9, 2006

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

Server maker Fujitsu-Siemens may be having trouble getting its "Olympic" dual-core Sparc64 VI processors to market in the "Jupiter" APL servers that it and Sun Microsystems will eventually start selling in late 2006 or early 2007, but it has the ability to crank up the clock speed on the existing single-core Sparc64 V processors for its existing PrimePower Solaris-based servers.

And, so it has. Fujitsu-Siemens is now shipping Sparc64 V chips running at 1.65 GHz and 1.98 GHz in its low-end PrimePower 250 and 450 servers; these processors have 3 MB of L2 cache on the chip. The PrimePower 250 is a 2U or 4U form factor rack-mounted server that has two Sparc64 processor sockets and up to 16 GB of main memory, while the PrimePower 450 comes in 4U and 7U rack configurations that support up to four Sparc64 processors and up to 32 GB of main memory. Fujitsu-Siemens has also jacked up the clock speeds in its PrimePower 650 and 850 midrange machines using a 2.16 GHz Sparc64 V processor equipped with a 4 MB L2 cache. The PrimePower 650 is an eight-socket server that takes up 8U of space in a rack and supports up to 64 GB of main memory, while the PrimePower 850 is a 16-socket server that eats 16U of space and supports up to 128 GB of main memory. The high-end, 128-way PrimePower 2500 has been equipped with a 2.08 GHz/ 4MB L2 cache chip, and has achieved the top-end performance on the SPECjbb2005 Java benchmark test. That machine, equipped with 512 GB of main memory and running Solaris 10 was able to handle 1.16 million operations per second. Of course, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM have not tested their biggest Unix boxes on the SPECjbb2005 test yet, so saying that Fujitsu-Siemens has the best result on this test, which was announced last June, does not mean as much as it might once they do test their machines.

Fujitsu-Siemens says that the new Sparc64 V processors boost the price/performance of its PrimePower line by between 6 and 35 percent based on SPEC CPU benchmark test results against its 1.32 GHz and 1.87 GHz Sparc64 V processors.

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Editor: Timothy Prickett Morgan
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik,
Shannon O'Donnell, Timothy Prickett Morgan
Publisher and Advertising Director: Jenny Thomas
Advertising Sales Representative: Kim Reed
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