Earlier this week Sun taped out its first Niagara 2 and Rock processors:
Sun Microsystems has taped out its highly integrated Niagara 2 and Rock processors, but the company faces a major hurdle getting access to leading edge 45 and 32nm process technology for its future Sparc CPUs, according to David Yen, who heads Sun's recently re-created semiconductor group.
In an exclusive interview with EE Times in his Menlo Park office, Yen showed the first wafers back from the fab for Niagara 2, set to ship in systems before the end of the year. He also discussed the issues Sun faces now that its longtime silicon partner, Texas Instruments, has decided to rely on foundries to develop next-generation semiconductor process technology.
Chief executive Jonathan Schwartz appointed Yen, a long time Sun veteran, to head up Sun Microelectronics in late March. Yen had led the group for several years beginning in 2001 until he was named to head a systems design group and later a storage division.