Sun, Xilinx Introduce Programmable OpenSPARC Evaluation Platform

At the International Conference for Field Programmable Logic and Applications, Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: JAVA) and Xilinx, Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX) unveiled a feature-rich, high-performance programmable OpenSPARC evaluation platform. The platform provides academic researchers and hardware developers with a flexible OpenSPARC-based platform to create, customize and deploy next-generation applications for a broad set of end markets including supercomputers, industrial, scientific and medical (ISM), aerospace & defense, and storage and networking.

“Our collaboration with industry leaders such as Xilinx will continue to drive the momentum and expansion of the UltraSPARC(R) ecosystem,” said Mike Knudsen, vice president, business development and marketing for Sun’s Microelectronics unit. “The microprocessor industry is steadily shifting towards CMT architectures, and this new OpenSPARC FPGA evaluation platform puts us in a prime position to enable faster time-to-market for our customers.”

“The OpenSPARC Evaluation Platform will help microprocessor pedagogy to leap out of the textbook into the students’ hands,” said James. C. Hoe, associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. “This is a powerful enabling asset in teaching and research, especially at a time when we are striving to understand how to best deploy and leverage parallelism in future microprocessor systems.”

Based on the power of an open-sourced 32-thread UltraSPARC T1 processor and combined with the high-performance Xilinx(R) 65nm Virtex(R)-5 FPGA technology, the platform will provide a foundation for innovation across a range of disciplines including; computer architecture, logic design, compiler techniques and parallel programming. Based on its programmable architecture, the platform allows multiple design iterations providing faster time- to- market, greater flexibility and reduced complexity.

“Today’s designs demand more processing power, higher reliability, and increased application intelligence,” said Ivo Bolsens, chief technology officer for Xilinx. “Combining Sun’s multithreading processing technology with our industry-leading silicon and design tools provides a solid platform for academics and developers to build and test novel ideas in hardware and software design.”

University Donation Program Proliferates Adoption
Sun and Xilinx also announced today the development of a joint University donation program, facilitated through the OpenSPARC University Program, whereby academic professors can apply for grants to help kick-start curricula and university research programs. Applications are specifically encouraged for the development of high-performance, multi-thread and low-power computing applications. For more information, visit

The Sun and Xilinx-based OpenSPARC FPGA development platform is immediately available through Digilent. Visit to order.

About OpenSPARC is the genesis of a vision by engineers, technologists, evangelists, and executives at Sun Microsystems, Inc. to create a larger community where open conversations and collaborative development projects spawn dramatic innovations around chip design. Individual programmers as well as representatives from universities, industry associations, supporting software companies, foundries, entrepreneurs, large corporations and visionaries have already begun to participate in this expanded community. Since the launch of the OpenSPARC T1 processor in March 2006, over 9,000 OpenSPARC T1 and OpenSPARC T2 processor RTL files have been downloaded.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Sun Microsystems develops the technologies that power the global marketplace. Guided by a singular vision — “The Network is the Computer” — Sun drives network participation through shared innovation, community development and open source leadership. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web.

About Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGAs
The 65nm Virtex-5 FPGA family leads the industry with over 90 percent market share. It is the fifth generation in the award-winning Virtex series built upon the industry’s most advanced triple-oxide technology, breakthrough ExpressFabric(TM) technology and proven ASMBL(TM) architecture. The Virtex-5 family features four domain-optimized platforms for high-speed logic, digital signal processing, embedded processing and serial connectivity applications. Visit for more information.

About Xilinx
Xilinx, Inc. is the worldwide leader of programmable logic solutions.

XILINX, the Xilinx Logo, Virtex, ExpressFabric and ASMBL are trademarks of Xilinx in the United States and other countries. Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, The Network is the Computer, and UltraSPARC are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All SPARC trademarks are used under license and are trademarks or registered trademarks of SPARC International, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Products bearing SPARC trademarks are based upon an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc.