Sun’s OpenSPARC CPU
Back in 2005 when Sun released the Niagara chip – the UltraSPARC T1 – they also took the unusual step of open sourcing the hardware design of the CPU. Having a ground breaking 8 core, 32 thread CPU was impressive enough, but sharing the internals with anyone who was interested – awesome!
Recently Sun have announced a partnership with Europractice, who are a pan-European group setup to promote student learning of chip design across Europe. It follows on from the successful Eurochip organisation which had similar aims.
With Europractice, Sun are making CPU design details, chip architecture documentation, and FPGA tools available to Universities across Europe. As part of that, Sun are hosting two one day events in London at the beginning of December to spill the beans on all aspects of the OpenSPARC design, as well as some history of the SPARC family.
Sadly this is only open to Europractice members from academic institutions, but Sun have continued their theme of openness by making all the slides and documentation available via their web site.
You’ll need a (free) Sun site login, but head on over to https://wikis.sun.com/display/OpenSPARC/Slidecast+-+All+About+OpenSPARC and download over 5 hours of slides, complete with voice overs and designer notes.