[clug] Sun Accelerates Growth of UltraSPARC(R) CMT Eco System

Hugh Fisher hugh.fisher at anu.edu.au
Wed Dec 12 07:29:54 GMT 2007

Antti wrote:
> Makes sense. You're not going to compete with Sun unless you are able to
> turn chip designs into silicon and I can't see Intel and AMD rushing to
> incorporate GPL'ed features into their own designs. In the mean time,
> universities start churning out grads who are familiar with Sparc.
> Maybe they aspire to somehting like the Morotola 68000 in tems of
> educational ubiquity.

In Suns dreams. 68000s were popular in education for a long while
because they were being mass-produced for other purposes (desktop
PCs and workstations) and therefore cheap, plus much nicer for
teaching than the ghastly 8086 architecture. The 386 caught up
in performance, and while not elegant, could be studied without
being considered an occupational health and safety risk. Goodbye

Remember, Suns *were* ubiquitous in computer science departments
in the late 80s and early 90s, and churned out grads who were
familiar with SPARC. Intel and AMD still kicked them out by
offering better price and performance, and that isn't going to
change just because Sun have GPLed the design.

> It also tells you something about Sun's assessment of how robust the GPL
> is for protecting their work.

More protected by the hundreds of millions/billions dollar
investment required to set up a major chip foundry.

> Wilkl this lead to Intel and AMD having issues avoiding their work being
> contaminated by GPL'ed ideas seen by graduates? Interesting...

The most straightforward way for Intel/AMD to avoid their work
being contaminated will be to tell the major unis with hardware
design courses "If you use SPARC in your course, we will never
hire any of your graduates."


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