Hardware & Infrastructure
03:03 PM

Sun Microsystems Selects Taiwan Foundry For Future UltraSparc Chips

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. will start by making Sun processors based on a 45-nanometer manufacturing process.

Sun Microsystems on Tuesday said it has chosen Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. as the foundry for future generations of UltraSparcC chips.

TSMC will start by making Sun processors based on a 45-nanometer manufacturing process. Such chips hold smaller transistors than the older 65 nm process, which means the former is more powerful and energy efficient. Texas Instruments, which had been Sun's foundry for two decades, will continue to test and package Sun processors.

In choosing TSMC, Sun has partnered with the world's largest chip foundry in terms of market share. Such businesses fabricate processors designed by others. "TSMC gives us leading process technology coupled with the economics scale of high volume and lower cost," David Yen, Sun's executive VP for Sun's microelectronics group, said in a statement.

Texas Instruments about a year ago said it did not plan on spending the billions of dollars needed to shift manufacturing facilities from 65 nm to 45 nm. This decision led to Sun moving to TSMC. "TI has had the pleasure of being a strategic partner with Sun for almost two decades and we look forward to working with TSMC to provide turnkey backend support for Sun's Sparc product roadmap," said Hunter Ward, VP and general manger of TI's Sun Business Unit.

Sun and TSMC also plan to work together on Sun's OpenSparc program, starting with an expansion of a university outreach program in Taiwan. OpenSparc is a 64-bit, 32-thread processor design free of any royalty or licensing fees. TSMC has a large customer base and a "substantial number" of large intellectual property partners that are expected to help expand OpenSparc adoption.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.