Oracle SPARC M8 released with 32 cores 256 threads 5.0GHz

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Oracle SPARC M8 Processor
Oracle SPARC M8 Processor

The Oracle SPARC M8 is now out and is a monster of a chip. Each SPARC M8 processor supports up to 32 cores and 64MB L3 cache. Each core can handle 8 threads for up to 256 threads. Compare this to the AMD EPYC 7601, the world’s only 32 core x86 processor as of this writing, which handles 64 threads and also has 64MB L3 cache. The cores can also clock up to 5.0GHz faster than current x86 high-core count server chip designs from Intel and AMD. That is quite astounding given the SPARC M8 is still using 20nm process technology.

Beyond simple the simple core specs, there is much more going on. Oracle has specific accelerators for cryptography, JAVA performance, database performance and ETC. For example, there are 32 on-chip Data Analytics Accelerator (DAX) engines. DAX engines offload query processing and perform real-time data decompression. Oracle’s software business for the Oracle Database line is still strong and these capabilities are what is often referred to as “SQL in Silicon.” Oracle claims that Oracle Database 12c is up to 7 times faster by using M8 with DAX than competing CPUs. That is a big deal for software licensing costs. Another interesting feature is the inline decompression feature allows decompression of data stored in memory with no claimed performance penalty.

Oracle SPARC M8 Processor Key Specifications

Here are the key specs for the new Oracle SPARC CPUs:

  • 32 SPARC V9 cores, maximum frequency: 5.0 GHz
  • Up to 256 hardware threads per processor; each core supports up to 8 threads
  • Total of 64 MB L3 cache per processor, 16-way set-associative and inclusive of all inner caches
  • 128 KB L2 data cache per core; 256 KB L2 instruction cache shared among four cores
  • 32 KB L1 instruction cache and 16 KB L1 data cache per core
  • Quad-issue, out-of-order integer execution pipelines, one floating-point unit, and integrated cryptographic stream processing per core
  • Sophisticated branch predictor and hardware data prefetcher
  • 32 second-generation DAX engines; 8 DAX units per processor with four pipelines per DAX unit
  • Encryption instruction accelerators in each core with direct support for 16 industry-standard cryptographic algorithms plus random-number generation: AES, Camellia, CRC32c, DES, 3DES, DH, DSA, ECC, MD5, RSA, SHA-1, SHA-3, SHA-224, SHA-256, SHA-384, and SHA-512
  • 20 nm process technology
  • Open Oracle Solaris APIs available for software developers to leverage the Silicon Secured Memory and DAX technologies in the SPARC M8 processor

On Solaris Support Until 2034

In the official Oracle SPARC M8 release, Oracle has a note that is a clear nod to its organizational changes (we mentioned in a recent Oracle server release.)

Oracle is committed to delivering the latest in SPARC and Solaris technologies and servers to its global customers. Oracle’s long history of binary compatibility across processor generations continues with M8, providing an upgrade path for customers when they are ready. Oracle has also publicly committed to supporting Solaris until at least 2034.

Oracle is clearly hearing from its customers about the mass layoffs of Solaris engineering teams.

New Oracle SPARC M8 Systems

There are five new SPARC V9 systems are available from Oracle today:

Your Oracle sales rep will be calling you soon if they have not already so it may be worth reading-up ahead of the call.

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Patrick has been running STH since 2009 and covers a wide variety of SME, SMB, and SOHO IT topics. Patrick is a consultant in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about server, storage and networking, building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.

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