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The BSD Unix Projects Keep Humming Along
"(...)FreeBSD captured some news in recent months when the project was
spotlighted for its decision to port FreeBSD to Sun's "Niagara" Sparc
T1 processor. The Niagara chip is comprised of eight four-threaded
UltraSparc-II cores, and running at 1.2 GHz, a Niagara can do about as
much work as a two single-core Xeon DP "Irwindale" box while only
emitting around 72 watts under normal workloads and around 79 watts
under heavy loads. This comparison sounded great earlier this year,
when Intel's top-end, single-core Xeon DP processors were well above
100 watts for a single-core, but last month, the dual-core "Woodcrest"
core architecture chip for two-socket servers was launched, and
running at 3 GHz dissipates about 80 watts. Intel has closed the
performance and performance per watt gap considerably, but it is
likely that the Niagara chip will still have a substantial advantage.
And, of course, Niagara-II will double the T1 threads to 64 from 32,
which will boost performance considerably for many workloads.
Niagara-II will be available by the end of 2007, but Intel plans to
have its pseudo-quad-core "Cloverton" kickers to the Woodcrest chips
(which basically puts two Woodcrest chips side-by-side in a single
socket) available before the end of 2006.
No matter. FreeBSD will support both chips. So customers can choose
what chip architecture they want.(...)"
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