Monday Apr 23, 2007

Sun's 25th Anniversary Sale

Sun's having a sale over the next two weeks to mark it's 25th anniversary. Looks like there are some very good discounts. Hurry it ends May 7th. Sun's 25th Anniversary Sale <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> var sc_project=1115798; var sc_invisible=1; var sc_partition=10; var sc_security="a3cd786a"; </script> <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript" src="http://www.statcounter.com/counter/counter.js"></script>

OpenSPARC Community Threads - April 2007

Read the OpenSPARC Community Threads - April 2007 for the latest update from the OpenSPARC community.

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Wednesday Mar 14, 2007

OpenSPARC T1 Version 1.4 Released

OpenSPARC T1 v1.4 adds significant new functionality as well as new platform support in its hardware bundle. On the design side, it adds knob to create single core, single thread implementation of the OpenSPARC T1. This, we believe, will be useful in creating multi-core designs that do not include hardware threading. Additionally, it also provides an option to create FPGA implementation from the base design. This FPGA option creates a fully synchronous design with better utilization of on-chip FPGA resources like Block RAMs and Multipliers. And finally, version v1.4 also includes an option to remove Stream Processing Unit (SPU) from the design. Since SPU is essentially an on-chip hardware accelerator for cryptographic functions, one can choose to remove it for more general purpose CPU implementations.

Although three options described above can be chosen independent of each other, combining them will create an FPGA implementation with the smallest possible area foot-print. Needless to say, we have also included verification environment for the new additions and also added, for the first time, elementary support for netlist verification through vector playback.

Together with design enhancements, OpenSPARC T1 v1.4 also supports x86_64 hardware platform.

For more details, please check the "OpenSPARC T1 Processor Design and Verification User's Guide" included under to "doc" directory of the hardware distribution.

Download it now!

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Thursday Mar 08, 2007

OpenSPARC Community Threads - March 2007

Read the OpenSPARC Community Threads - March 2007 for the latest update from the OpenSPARC community.

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Friday Feb 16, 2007

OpenSPARC Expert Exchange

As a follow-up to the Sun Net Talk on OpenSPARC, an Expert Exchange, a live Q&A chat with Sun engineers on OpenSPARC was held on Wednesday, January 31 at 10am. The transcript is now available under the Expert Exchange archive.

The Expert Exchange was excellent. Lots of questions and answers, 29 in total. The chat application was very good, started without a fuss. One textarea to submit questions and another with the ongoing Q&A. My only negative comment would be that the chat monitor should have had a welcome message or a status that the exchange had started, since it was not obvious that it had. The first Q&A didn't appear until 12-15 minutes after 10am. Overall well worth the time spent. Below are the results from a short poll offerred during the session.

Highlights:
  • 57 Live attendees (14 Sun employees)
  • 29 Online questions answered
  • 23 % of the audience completed the poll
  • 69% of the audience responding to the poll are interested in adopting course work for OpenSPARC and Cool Tools
The Polling Results are very interesting
  • 23% of the audience completed the poll
  • 21 Started the poll, 13 Completed the poll
  1. Have you downloaded the OpenSPARC source code?
       No - 58%
       Yes - 42%
  2. What is your reason for interest in OpenSPARC?
       General interest - 54%
       Education - 31%
       Product development - 8%
       Research - 8%
  3. Have you downloaded any of the Cool Tools?
       No - 67%
       Yes - 33%
  4. Which Cool Tools are you interested in?
       Developer (Sun Studio 11, GCC for SPARC Systems) - 69%
       Deployment (coolstack, consolidation tool, cooltst) - 15%
       Performance tuning (ats/bit/spot) - 15%
  5. Are you interested in adopting course work for OpenSPARC and Cool Tools?
       Yes - 69%
       No - 39%
  6. Please rate this Expert Exchange event. Specifically what did you think of the chat content?
       Above average - 46%
       Exceptional - 38%
       Average - 15%
       Below average - 0%
       Poor - 0%
  7. Please rate this Expert Exchange event. Specifically what did you think of the tool?
       Exceptional - 38%
       Above Average - 38%
       Average - 23%
       Below Average - 0%
       Poor - 0%
  8. After participating in today's Expert Exchange, are you more or less inclined to consider Sun as a vendor?
       More Inclined - 77%
       No change - 15%
       Less Inclined - 8%
  9. How often do you talk to your Sun sales representative or Sun partner?
       Do not have a relationship - 31%
       Infrequently - once per year - 31%
       Occasionally - once every 3-6 months- 23%
       Frequently - once per month - 15%
  10. Would you recommend Sun for purchase of the products and solutions discussed in this Expert Exchange?
       Yes - 100%
       No - 0%


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Wednesday Feb 14, 2007

Niagara2 Presentation at ISSCC 2007

Here's the presentation that was made on Niagara2 at ISSCC 2007, An 8-core, 64-thread, 64-bit, power efficient SPARC SoC (Niagara2)

Some basic specifications of the Niagara2 microprocessor:
  • 8 SPARC cores, 8 threads/core
  • 4MB L2, 8 banks, 16-way set associative
  • 16KB I$ and 8KB D$ per core
  • FP, Graphics, Crypto per code
  • 4 dual-channel FBDIMM memory controller @ 4.8Gb/s
  • X8 PCI-Express @ 2.5Gb/s
  • Two 10G Ethernet port @ 3.125 Gb/s
  • 342mm2
  • 503 million-transistor
  • fabricated on a 65nm process
  • dissipates 84W when running at 1.4GHz


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Tuesday Jan 30, 2007

OpenSPARC Community Threads January 2007

Read the OpenSPARC Community Threads - Januaury 2007 for the latest update from the OpenSPARC community.

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Wednesday Jan 17, 2007

Setting Up TWiki with Cool Stack

Here's my little guide (maybe not so little) to help with setting up TWiki on a Sun Fire T2000 running Solaris 10. I started with the Cool Stack but quickly found that I needed a few other pieces of software to get everything working properly. I also wanted LDAP support which wasn't enabled in Cool Stack. All of these software packages always have new releases, I provided version number just for reference. Please send me feedback, I'm sure some of this isn't as clear as it can be.
  1. Setup Solaris 10 11/06 (or update 3, I'll cover this in a seperate entry) and install CoolTuner which will keep your Sun Fire T1000 or T2000 updated with the latest tunning parameters and patches.
  2. Install the Sun Studio 11 compilers. Grab them from here. Definitely get the latest compilers, every version of Sun Studio has improvements. Make sure you also have the latest patches for the compilers too.
  3. We also need a few additional pieces of software to support TWiki. The additional software pieces are:
    • rcs-5.7
    • patch-2.5.4
    • diffutils-2.8.1
    • grep-2.5.1a
    • make-3.81
    Download and untar each of the above packages and use the following commands to build. The compiler flags provide a very good level of optimization and we want the install to be placed in /usr/local. Make sure that the Sun Studio 11 compilers and /usr/local/bin are in your path first.
       CFLAGS="-xO4 -xtarget=generic" ./configure --prefix=/usr/local
       make
       make install
    
  4. Install CSQamp, CSQperl packages from Cool Stack. Cool Stack installs into /usr/local.
  5. I found that the CSQperl needed a number of extensions added to it. CSQperl is based on Perl 5.8.8. Here's are the key parameters need edwhen you run Configure. Use the defaults in most cases.
    Invoked as:  CFLAGS="-xO4 -xtarget=generic" ./Configure
    Use dynamic libraries
    Make libperl dynamic
    Use these flags:   -I/usr/local/include -D_LARGEFILE_SOURCE -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 -DPERL_USE_SAFE_PUTENV
    Use this library path: /lib /usr/lib
    Use these optimization flags: -x04 -xtarget=generic
    
    Here are the perl extensions to add. I used cpan to grab and build the additional extensions, it much easier this way since it understands dependences on other extensions and will grab and build those too.
    CFLAGS="-xO4 -xtarget=generic" /usr/local/bin/cpan
    
    
      install Bundle::CPAN
         PathTools 3.24                       <==== those are the dependences
         Compress-Zlib-2.001
         Archive-Tar 1.30
         Net-Telnet 3.03
         TermReadKey 2.30
         TermReadLine-Perl 1.0302
         CPAN-WAIT 0.27
         CPAN 1.8802
         IO-Zlib 1.04
         IO-Compress-Zlib 2.001
         Compress-Raw-Zlib 2.001
    
      install libwww-perl 5.805
         URI 1.35
         HTML-Parser 3.55
    
      install Digest::SHA1 2.11
      install CGI::Session 4.20
    
      install NET::LDAP perl-ldap 0.33
         Convert-ASN1 0.20
         
      install Unicore::MapUTF8
         Unicore-MapUTF8 1.11
         Unicore-Map8 0.12
         Unicore-String 2.09
         Jcode 2.06
    
  6. Next we need to build OpenLDAP, I built version 2.3.27 but there is going to be newer versions.
       export CPPFLAGS="-I/usr/sfw/include"; export LDFLAGS="-L/usr/sfw/lib"; \\
          export CFLAGS="-xO4 -xtarget=generic -D_AVL_H"
       ./configure --prefix=/usr/local \\
          --sysconfdir=/etc/openldap \\
          --with-openssl=/usr/sfw \\
          --with-tls \\
          --disable-slurpd \\
          --disable-slapd
       make depend
       make 
       make install
    
  7. Now Apache will need to be rebuild to include support for LDAP. The following is based on how CSQamp builds apache and I've added the additional options to build LDAP support with OpenLDAP.
       CFLAGS='-DSSL_EXPERIMENTAL -DSSL_ENGINE -xO4 -xtarget=generic' \\
       CPPFLAGS="-I/usr/local/include" \\
       LDFLAGS="-R/usr/local/lib -R/usr/sfw/lib -L/usr/local/lib -L/usr/sfw/lib" \\
       ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/apache2 \\
       --enable-mods-shared=all \\
       --enable-cache \\
       --enable-mem-cache \\
       --enable-ssl \\
       --with-mpm=prefork \\
       --enable-so \\
       --enable-suexec \\
       --enable-rule=SSL_EXPERIMENTAL \\
       --with-ssl=/usr/sfw \\
       --enable-ldap \\
       --enable-auth_ldap \\
       --with-ldap \\
       --with-ldap-dir=/usr/local \\
       --with-ldap-include=/usr/local/include \\
       --with-ldap-lib=/usr/local/lib
       make   
       make install
    
  8. The package libiconv, libxml, php and mysql that are included in Cool Stack are included in CSQamp, don't need to be re-compiled but if you want here are the commands:
    • libiconv 1.9.2
         CFLAGS="-xO4 -xtarget=generic" ./configure
      
    • libxml2 2.6.26
         CFLAGS="-xO4 -xtarget=generic" ./configure
      
    • mysql 32-bit which is included in CSQamp
         CXXFLAGS="-xO4 -mt"
         export CXXFLAGS
         CFLAGS="-xO4 -mt -fsimple=1 -ftrap=%none -xbuiltin=%all -xlibmil -xlibmopt \\
            -xstrconst -xchip=generic" ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/mysql_32bit \\
            -localstatedir=/usr/local/mysql_32bit/data \\
            --libexecdir=/usr/local/mysql_32bit/bin \\
            --with-extra-charsets=complex --with-server-suffix=-standard \\
            --with-archive-storage-engine --with-innodb --enable-shared --with-readline \\
            --enable-thread-safe-client --enable-local-infile --with-named-z-libs=no \\
            --with-big-tables --without-server
      
    • mysql 64-bit which is included in CSQmysql
         CXXFLAGS="-xO4 -noex -mt -fsimple=1 -ftrap=%none -xbuiltin=%all -xlibmil -xlibmo pt \\
            -xarch=v9"
         export CXXFLAGS
         CFLAGS="-xO4 -mt -fsimple=1 -ftrap=%none -xbuiltin=%all -xlibmil -xlibmopt \\
            -xstrconst -xarch=v9" ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/mysql \\
            --libexecdir=/usr/local/mysql/bin --with-extra-charsets=complex \\
            --with-server-suffix=-standard --with-archive-storage-engine --with-innodb \\
            --enable-shared --with-readline --enable-thread-safe-client --enable-local-infile \\
            --with-named-z-libs=no --with-big-tables --without-server
      
    • php_fastcgi 5.1.4 - PHP with fastcgi enabled for Apache
         CFLAGS='-xO4 -xtarget=generic ' \\
         ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/php5_fastcgi \\
         --enable-memory-limit --disable-all \\
         --with-libxml-dir=shared,/usr/local --enable-fastcgi --enable-spl --with-pcre-regex \\
         --enable-session --enable-shmop --enable-pear --enable-sysvshm --enable-sysvmsg \\
         --with-dom --enable-dom --enable-simplexml --enable-sysvsem --enable-sockets \\
         --enable-spl --with-pear --enable-xml --enable-libxml --disable-ipv6 \\
         --with-iconv-dir=/usr/local --with-mysql=shared,/usr/local/mysql_32bit \\
         --with-mysqli=shared,/usr/local/mysql_32bit/bin/mysql_config \\
         --with-openssl=shared,/usr/sfw
      
    • php 5.1.4 w/o fastcgi for standalone install
         CFLAGS='-KPIC -xO4 -xtarget=generic ' \\
         ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/php5 \\
         --with-apxs2=/usr/local/apache2/bin/apxs --enable-memory-limit --disable-all \\
         --with-libxml-dir=shared,/usr/local --with-dom --enable-dom --enable-spl \\
         --enable-simplexml --with-pcre-regex --enable-session \\
         --enable-shmop --enable-pear --enable-sysvshm --enable-sysvmsg \\
         --enable-sysvsem --enable-sockets --enable-spl --with-pear \\
         --enable-xml --enable-libxml --disable-ipv6 \\
         --with-iconv-dir=/usr/local --with-mysql=shared,/usr/local/mysql_32bit \\
         --with-mysqli=shared,/usr/local/mysql_32bit/bin/mysql_config \\
         --with-openssl=shared,/usr/sfw
      
    • APC 3.0.11
         /usr/local/php/bin/phpize
         CFLAGS="-xO4 -xtarget=generic" \\
         /bin/php-config --enable-apc-mmap --enable-apc-sem
      
         The following line should be used for the standalone php in CSQphp package
         CFLAGS="-xO4 -xtarget=generic" \\
         ./configure --enable-apc --with-php-config=/usr/local/php5_fastcgi/bin/php-config \\
         --enable-apc-mmap --enable-apc-sem
      
    • mod_perl 2.0.2
         CFLAGS="-xO4 -xtarget=generic" \\
         perl Makefile.PL MP_APXS=/usr/local/apache2/bin/apxs --with-mysql
      
    • jakarta-tomcat-connectors-1.2.15
         CFLAGS="-xO4 -xtarget=generic" \\
         ./configure --with-apxs=/usr/local/apache2/bin/apxs \\
         --with-java-home=/usr/java --prefix=/usr/local/jk12
      
  9. Apache adds There are lots of parameters that can be placed into the httpd.conf file and I will not go through them all since it really depends on your specific setup. Here are a few essential ones.
       Add LoadModules for mod_perl and mod_ldap
          LoadModule perl_module modules/mod_perl.so
          LoadModule ldap_module modules/mod_ldap.so
          LoadModule auth_ldap_module modules/mod_auth_ldap.so
    
       Add parameters for mod_ldap
          LDAPSharedCacheSize 200000
          LDAPCacheEntries 1024
          LDAPCacheTTL 600
          LDAPOpCacheEntries 1024
          LDAPOpCacheTTL 600
    
       Add authentication for the twiki/bin directory
          Directory  "{path to twiki install}/twiki/bin/">
          AllowOverride All
          Allow From All
          Options  ExecCGI
          SetHandler cgi-script
                 
          AuthType                 Basic
          AuthName                 "LDAP Login"
          AuthLDAPURL ldap://{server}:389/ou=people,dc=sun,dc=com?uid
          < / Directory>
    
  10. TWiki can be installed into the docroot root and here are a few things to add.
       edit all files in /bin to use /usr/local/bin/perl
       add lib/LocalSite.cfg
       add bin/LocalLib.cfg
       add bin/.htaccess
       add twiki/tools/mod_perl_starutp.pl from http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Codev/ModPerlUnix
       when runnin configure for TWiki make sure to everything is clean, no error or warnings.
    
    Three essential plugins are:
       LdapContrb
       LdapNgPlugin
       NewUserPlugin
    
    Some other additional TWiki plugins I've found useful and the perl extensions that will be needed.
       ActionTrackerPlugin
          Time::ParseDate 
             Time-modules-2006.0814
       CalendarPlugin
          Date::Calc
             Date-Calc-5.4
             Bit::Vector
                Bit-Vector-6.4
             Carp::Clan
                Carp-Clan-5.8
          HTML::CalendarMonthSimple
              HTML-CalendarMonthSimple-1.25
       EditInTablePlugin
       ImageGalleryPlugin
       LinkOptionsPlugin
       RedirectPlugin
    
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Tuesday Jan 09, 2007

Sun Net Talk on OpenSPARC

Check out the latest Sun Net Talk. This one is about, OpenSPARC: Innovation Opportunities with the World's First Open Source CPU. Join Fadi Azhari, Darryl Gove, Dave Weaver, Shrenik Mehta and Simon Phipps as they gave a great overview of OpenSPARC and the Cool Tools in a 32 minute audiovisual presentation.

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Happy New Year!!

I'm just back from a two week vacation and catching up on things. Happy New Year!! 2007 should be an exciting year, there are many innovations and products to look forward to. Some that have my interest are:

  • OpenSPARC - The community is forming and growing. I expected to see more innovation occurring and people using OpenSPARC T1 in ways we haven't anticipated. Academic interesting is very strong and we should see courses at various Universities using OpenSPARC T1 in their teaching materials.
  • Multi-Core CPUS - Multi-Core systems are really coming into the mainstream with AMD and Intel focused on both dual-core and quad-core processors. Sun will be announcing Niagara 2 based systems this year. Very exiting and these products will continue pushing the CMT (chip multi threading) architecture to higher levels of performance and integration. Sun APL systems will be introduced with multi-core/multi-threaded CPUs. IBM will introduce Power6.
  • Java - With Java now licensed under GPLv2, what innovation we will see there?
  • Virtualization - Driving the push for virtualization is cost reduction through server consolidation, dynamic provisioning, and disaster recovery. Multi-core CPUs bring a lot of processing power and consolidation is one way to effectively use it.
  • Gaming - There will be a new set of games that will really start to take advantage of multi-core cpus and with dual HD screens and high quality audio, games will be more immersive with more realistic physic modeling. Thats just for PC based games. On the console side, with PlayStation3, Nitendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox 360 released, there will be a three way battle to see which console will have the best suite of games.

Should be a great year and to start us out, Sun has just announced new enhanced Sun Fire T1000 and T2000 systems. The major enhancements being faster CPUs (1.4 Ghz) and 64GB memory configuration. Look here. <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> var sc_project=1115798; var sc_invisible=1; var sc_partition=10; var sc_security="a3cd786a"; </script> <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript" src="http://www.statcounter.com/counter/counter.js"></script>

Thursday Dec 14, 2006

OpenSPARC Community Threads December 2006

Read the OpenSPARC Community Threads December2006 for an update on what is happening in the OpenSPARC community.

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Wednesday Dec 13, 2006

Multi-Core and Gaming AI

I just read a new developer diary entry by Brad Wardel on taking advantage of multi-core CPUs. He is the AI developer on a new game, Galactic Civilizations II: Dark Avatar. Here's a scenario he paints:
Player sits down on a Friday night to play Galactic Civilizations III, loads up the game, and starts.

Upon contact with the Drengin Empire...

Drengin: "So Brad, I see you're playing again on another Friday night. That's pretty sad. Last Friday you played for 5 hours. According to your Tivo, you didn't record Battlestar Galactic. Loser. So, you going to do your usual build up a massive army while trading with me to get good relations and then attack? Because, this week we're playing by my rules. That's right. Here's how tonight's game is going to go. You're going to let me win. If you quit or defeat me I'm going to upload those baby pictures I found in 'My Documents' up to the Internet. You're going to lose and you're going to suck it down. Also, you're going to exterminate the Torian Conferation. Each game you buddy up to those freaks and I'm sick of it. So this time you're going to betray them like you did me. Yes yes, I know that the Torians have access to your MySpace page but that's a chance you're going to have to take..."

..

Ah yes, we will finally be able to make computer players as malicious as real life human beings! By having them remember between games we can simulate grudges and with a few extra cores, have it learn all about you. EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU.
Multi-Core gaming is here and the future holds amazing potential for what can be done. AI opponents just like human players now that is scary...... <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> var sc_project=1115798; var sc_invisible=1; var sc_partition=10; var sc_security="a3cd786a"; </script> <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript" src="http://www.statcounter.com/counter/counter.js"></script>

Tuesday Nov 28, 2006

50 Aliens, 50 Days

Just found this great giveaway. I guess 20 of them are gone but another 30 still ahead. Verizon is giving gamers a reason to celebrate the holidays in style by giving away 50 Alienware computers in 50 Days. From November 10 through December 29, 2006, we'll be giving away one Alienware PC gaming rig each day, so the more days you play online using Verizon PlayLinc, the more likely you are to win. They are giving away, Aurora™ 3500 system with an AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 4200+ (dual core) processor. <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> var sc_project=1115798; var sc_invisible=1; var sc_partition=10; var sc_security="a3cd786a"; </script> <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript" src="http://www.statcounter.com/counter/counter.js"></script>

Friday Nov 17, 2006

Processors Shift in Top 500 Supercomputers

EETimes and ZDNet published articles, AMD gains, Intel slumps in latest supercomputer rankings and AMD gains, Intel fights back on supercomputer list. Which talks about the processors that are use in the Top500 Supercomputers.

AMD chips were used in 113 supercomputers, or 22 percent of those on the latest list, up from just 11 percent (or 81) a year ago ago. Intel CPUs took their biggest decline ever, slumping from a high of use in 333 systems or a year ago to 261 or 52 percent of systems on the current list. Power appeared in 93 systems, or 18.6 percent of the computers, up from 73 systems or 14.6 percent one year ago. Intel's Itanium chip family slipped from 37 to 35.

Sun Microsystems has 10 systems on the list all which use AMD's Opteron. The three Sparc systems are Fujistu models using Sun's Sparc64 processor. Hopefully in the future we'll see SPARC climb back onto the list. There are some exciting SPARC processors under development. <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> var sc_project=1115798; var sc_invisible=1; var sc_partition=10; var sc_security="a3cd786a"; </script> <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript" src="http://www.statcounter.com/counter/counter.js"></script>

Thursday Nov 16, 2006

Joomla! Wins the 2006 Open Source Content Management System Award

Packt Publishing announced that Joomla! is the the winner of the 2006 Open Source Content Management System Award.

Joomla! is the youngest CMS of the five finalists having originated by the then Mambo development team in August 2005. Joomla! was chosen due to its ease of installation and use along with the active development and community that supports the project. Joomla! narrowly beats out Drupal, which takes second place.

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