Is “Interesting Microprocessor Trivia” An Oxymoron?
By Karie Willyerd on May 14, 2007
In a recent conversation with David Yen, I learned something interesting--and really cool for Sun. A little background: The fourth edition of “Computer Architecture” was released a few months ago. “CA” is the definitive text for teaching state-of-the-art microprocessor design at the university level. It is written by John L. Hennessy, now president of Stanford University, and David A. Patterson, a highly decorated former chair of the Computer Science Department at UC Berkeley.
What two microprocessors do you think these distinguished experts chose to analyze as the epitome of modern CPU design? Sun's Niagara processor and the AMD Opteron! In his foreword, Fred Weber, former CTO of AMD, says the book “highlights the AMD Opteron and SUN Niagara as the best examples of the x86 and SPARC (RISC) architectures brought into the new world of multiprocessing and system-on-a-chip architecture, thus grounding the art and science in real-world commercial examples.”
This kind of acknowledgement says a lot: Twenty years after its inception SPARC(R) technology remains at the forefront of technology. Very cool!