Projected Intel, IBM, AMD, and Oracle/SUN/Fujitsu processors
Chris Mellor writes, "Eight-core Xeon 7400s will be its latest battering RAM to assault the RISC castle keep doors. Whether it will be enough depends on IBM (Power 6+) and Oracle with whatever the Oracle-ised SPARC people come up with."
The question is... when will any of these things come out???
SUN - 8 core (T1) processor in 2005
SUN - 8 core (T2) processor in 2007
AMD - 6 core (Opteron) processor in 2009? (1st half, June)
SUN - 16 core (T3) processor in... 2009? (2nd half)
SUN - 16 core (RocK) processor in... 2009? (2nd half)
Intel - 8 core (Xeon) processor in... 2009? (2nd half)
AMD - 12 core (Opteron) processor in 2010?
IBM - 2 core (Power6+) processor in... ?????
IBM - 16 core (Power7) processor in... 2010?
With the SUN SPARC T series traditionally being released on-time or early since 2005, that looks like a sure bet. With SUN SPARC RocK being late for years, Power being late for years, and Xeon being behind the core-curve for years (until recently) - it looks like it could be anyone's game.
The Power6+ may already be done, waiting for SUN to release SPARC T3 and/or RocK, so as not to canibalize Power6 system profits, and to try to spoil the SPARC marketing announcement.
The throughput of those cores and speed of a single thread on those cores are wildly different between architectures - meaning applications will perform wildly differently on each of these architectures and software licensing will vary wildly different between architecture.
Considering new CPU and Computers are projected to be released within months from now, the consumer must stay nimble. These issues do not make it simple for the systems architect who is trying to project into the future processor availability, system performance, and system cost.
The RISC market continues to be assaulted, but as long as there are workloads which perform superior in some form-factor or reduced system complexity, the market may continue to shrink, but retain a significant stronghold.
High single threaded throughput under POWER and high multi-threaded encrypted throughput under SPARC are two examples of specific workloads with superior price/performance to competing processors.