Sun reveals MAJC secrets

Sun's next-generation multimedia processor architecture will be used in workstations, thin-client devices.

Sun Microsystems revealed a few of the tricks behind its MAJC processor architecture Tuesday.

The architecture, which will result in chips that can handle multimedia at high speeds, will be used for the first time in a Sun workstation to be announced this autumn, Sun officials said. The chip will appear later in thin-client devices such as set-top boxes, but will also take on the role of network chip for applications such as video server or speech recognition serving, according to Sun.

The MAJC architecture allows for the execution of up to four instructions in parallel. It also supports multi-threading, such as those capabilities present in the Java programming language. Developers interested in writing applications for the chip can also do so in C or C++ programming languages.

MAJC supports the ability for multiple processors to be placed on a single die, meaning that more than one processor can be integrated into a single chip package. Each processor would be able to work on its own, however.

Processors using the MAJC architecture will also offer high clock speeds, but at the same time will have the ability to process complex graphics, ranging from voice data to video, Sun officials said.