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Sun Forms Governance Board Around OpenSparc

The governance board will consist of five charter members, two from Sun and three from outside the company. It will set the direction of and ensure adherence to the OpenSparc model.

SAN FRANCISCO — Sun Microsystems Inc. has created an independent OpenSPARC governance board charged with setting the direction, and assuring adherence, for the OpenSPARC community, the company said Monday (Oct. 2).

Sun (Santa Clara, Calif.) said the community also includes a new GNU/Linux distributor, Gentoo Linux, which is now supporting UltraSPARC T1 in the latest release of its open source operating system (OS), and the first published derivative of the chip design from Simply RISC.

The governance board will be comprised of five charter members, two from Sun and three from outside the company, Sun said. The board's charter is posted on

The board is comprised of: Nathan Brookwood, analyst with Insight64, Jose Renau, a professor at University of California-Santa Cruz and Robert Ober, Fellow and member of the chief technology officer office at LSI Logic Corp., as well as Sun's David Weaver and Simon Phipps, chief open source officer, Sun said.

According to Sun, the OpenSPARC initiative is showing strong adoption, with more than 3,500 OpenSPARC T1 hardware downloads and 2,600 software downloads since the initiative's introduction in March.

"To grow, we can't just rely on upgrading our installed base, we have to go after the other guy's business, and that's what open source helps us do," said John Fowler, executive vice president of Sun's systems group. "OpenSolaris is clearly a runaway hit, and the OpenSPARC program helps us accelerate our adoption rate into the new emerging Web 2.0 market."

Ubuntu Linux, which last May was the first third-party to announce a port of its GNU/Linux OS to OpenSPARC, has now logged more than 3,000 downloads of its OS onto OpenSPARC, and at least 800 sites running Ubuntu on SPARC, Sun said.

Simply RISC, a team of former STMicroelectronics engineers working in Italy and England, published the first derivative chip design, based on OpenSPARC, Sun said. The 64-bit, single core design is targeted at embedded applications such as PDAs, set-top boxes and digital cameras, the company. The design is freely downloadable from the Simply RISC Web site and supports the Solaris 10 operating system or any UNIX or Linux environment.

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