Sun effectively anounced its Intel-bashing cheap chip for Web servers, the UltraSparc IIIi last week, by telling EBN all about it. Sun said the part will run at 1.1-1.4GHz, would ship "soon" but not much else.
A Sun staffer recently told us that the company spends more restless nights tossing and turning at the thought of a server market increasingly dominated by IA-32 servers than it lost sleep over the threat of IA-64. Hence the IIIi -- an attempt to stretch the 64-bit UltraSparc line down into Xeon territory.
We also learned why Sun seems quite keen on AMD's x86-64 technology. Dismissive of Itanic, Sun representatives seem to light up when you ask about Opteron. They laud its value in expanding interest in 64-bit computing. Why that should apply to AMD and not Intel is an interesting question. The answer is political, since one chip is a challenger to Sun's core business and the other is made by AMD. [...and so isn't? --Ed]
In fact, we can well see Sun being very nice to AMD in the coming quarters, particularly as Opteron's launch draws near and the chip's role as an anti-Intel weapon becomes clearer. Sun is, of course, a founding member of AMD's HyperTransport consortium, so there's a history of co-operation between the two companies to build on.
News source: The Inquirer