Talking interestingly about CPU architecture is very hard. It is difficult stuff and sadly Mark Tremblay didn't manage it. He spoke about what's coming next which is pretty confidential and also covered the current competitive position of the UltraSPARC T1 with respect to heat and capabililty. "Its fantastic!". This was supplemented later by Denis Sheean who talked about characterising applications and their suitability for leveraging the T1 processors. The T1 is a throughput optimised system and so multi-user OLTP works well as do edge & network facing applications. The weaknesses of the system are well known and documented. Floating point and single threaded apps do not perfrom well. A further problem is that a well fitted application may be tested with unsuitable test thresholds. A data warehouse's loads are typically single threaded and using the load as a benchmark test is unlikely to show the US T1 in its best light. The weight of Dennis' presentation was that most applications perform well on the US T1 based systems.
tags: Technology SUNW CPU SPARC CMT