Oracle prepares to unveil next-gen SPARC 7 processor

Oracle is preparing to unveil its next-generation SPARC 7 processor architecture in August, with the new chip set to embody new acceleration and security features, according to the company’s executive vice president of systems, John Fowler.
Written by Leon Spencer, Contributor on

Oracle will be unveiling its next-generation SPARC 7 processor architecture at California's Hot Chips microprocessor technology conference in August.

According to Oracle's executive vice president of systems, John Fowler, the new chip architecture will have acceleration and security reliability features built in.

"We're heading towards announcing our fifth Spark processor in four years," Fowler told ZDNet via teleconference during a media briefing in Sydney today. "It's going to be called the '7'. Right now we ship today the T5 and M6 processor, and we'll be coming out with the 7th generation processor.

"We will be talking about it at the Hot Chips conference in California in August, and on August 10 we'll be making a couple of in depth presentations on [this] technology.

"We will be going into details on the database acceleration features that we've put in the chip, and the security reliability features and other things we've done, which I think are going to be quite innovative," he said.

Fowler's comments come as the company looks to ramp up its hardware technology product range, which it has been working on since it acquired Sun Microsystems in January 2010.

According to Fowler, who was executive vice president of Sun's systems group prior to the acquisition, hardware has been a central point of investment, and research and development for the company.

"Larry [Ellison, co-founder and CEO of Oracle] has really invested in core server technology, in virtualisation, operating system, in-storage technology and networking," he said. "Across the range we're investing in these technologies."

For Fowler, the strategy of building virtualisation into much of its product portfolio across the board has been central to the company's recent technology development.

"If you look at our hardware in general, we're heading towards announcing our fifth SPARC processor in four years; we've had five releases of the Solaris operating system, three generations of ZFS Storage," he said. "And, all of them have virtualisation ability built into them in some form or another. So, our storage, for example, has deep analytics for understanding virtualised environments."

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