The SPARC T-series family of RISC processors and server computers, based on the SPARC V9 architecture, was originally developed by Sun Microsystems, and later by Oracle Corporation after its acquisition of Sun. Its distinguishing feature from earlier SPARC iterations is the introduction of chip multithreading (CMT) technology, a multithreading, multicore design intended to drive greater processor utilization at lower power consumption.
The first generation T-series processor, the UltraSPARC T1, and servers based on it, were announced in December 2005. As later generations were introduced, the term "T series" was used to refer to the entire family of processors.
Sun Microsystems' Sun Fire and SPARC Enterprise product lines were based on early generations of CMT technology. The UltraSPARC T1 based Sun Fire T2000 and T1000 servers were launched in December 2005 and early 2006, respectively. They were later rebranded to match the name of the UltraSPARC T2 and T2 Plus based Sun SPARC Enterprise T5**0 servers.
The SPARC T3-series servers include the T3-1B, a blade server module that fits into the Sun Blade 6000 system. All other T3 based servers are rack mounted systems. Subsequent T-series server generations also include a blade server in the same Sun Blade 6000 form factor.
On September 26, 2011, Oracle announced a range of SPARC T4-based servers. These systems use the same chassis as the earlier T3 based systems. Their main features are very similar, with the exception of:
- T4 CPU instead of T3 CPU, with complete core redesign
- doubled RAM capacity
- small changes in mass storage capacity
On March 26, 2013, Oracle announced refreshed SPARC servers based on the new SPARC T5 microprocessor, which the company claims is "the world's fastest". In the T5 range of servers, the single socket rackmount server design was deprecated, while a new eight-socket rackmount server was introduced.
On October 26, 2015, Oracle announced a family of systems built on the 32-core, 256-thread SPARC M7 microprocessor. Unlike prior generations, both T- and M-series systems were introduced using the same processor. The M7 included the first generation of the Data Analytics Accelerator (DAX) engines. DAX engines offloaded in-memory query processing and performed real-time data decompression.
On September 18, 2017, Oracle announced a family of systems built on the 32-core, 256-thread SPARC M8 microprocessor at 5.0 GHz. It also included the second generation of Data Analytics Accelerator (DAX) engines.
Partitioning and virtualization
SPARC T-series servers can be partitioned using Oracle's Logical Domains technology. Additional virtualization is provided by Oracle Solaris Zones (aka Solaris Containers) to create isolated virtual servers within a single operating system instance. Logical Domains and Solaris Zones can be used together to increase server utilization.
|Model||RU||Max processors||Processor frequency||Max memory||Max disk capacity||GA date|
|Sun Fire T1000||1||1× UltraSPARC T1||1.0 GHz||32 GB||1× 3.5" SATA or
2× 2.5" SAS
|Sun Fire T2000||2||1× UltraSPARC T1||1.0 GHz||64 GB||4× 2.5" SAS||December 2005|
|SPARC Enterprise T5120||1||1× UltraSPARC T2||1.2, 1.4 GHz||128 GB||8× 2.5" SAS||November 2007|
|SPARC Enterprise T5140||1||2× UltraSPARC T2 Plus||1.2, 1.4 GHz||128 GB||8× 2.5" SAS||April 2008|
|SPARC Enterprise T5220||2||1× UltraSPARC T2||1.2, 1.4 GHz||128 GB||16× 2.5" SAS||November 2007|
|SPARC Enterprise T5240||2||2× UltraSPARC T2 Plus||1.2, 1.4 GHz||256 GB||16× 2.5" SAS||April 2008|
|SPARC Enterprise T5440||4||4× UltraSPARC T2 Plus||1.2, 1.4 GHz||512 GB||4× 2.5" SAS||Oct 2008|
|SPARC T3-1||2||1× SPARC T3||1.65 GHz||128 GB||16× 2.5" SAS||Sep 2010|
|SPARC T3-1B||na (blade)||1× SPARC T3||1.65 GHz||128 GB||2× 2.5" SAS||Sep 2010|
|SPARC T3-2||3||2× SPARC T3||1.65 GHz||256 GB||6× 2.5" SAS||Sep 2010|
|SPARC T3-4||5||4× SPARC T3||1.65 GHz||512 GB||8× 2.5" SAS||Sep 2010|
|SPARC T4-1||2||1× SPARC T4||2.85 GHz||256 GB||8× 2.5" SAS||Sep 2011|
|SPARC T4-1B||na (blade)||1× SPARC T4||2.85 GHz||256 GB||2× 2.5" SAS||Sep 2011|
|SPARC T4-2||3||2× SPARC T4||2.85 GHz||512 GB||6× 2.5" SAS||Sep 2011|
|SPARC T4-4||5||4× SPARC T4||3.0 GHz||1024 GB||8× 2.5" SAS||Sep 2011|
|SPARC T5-1B||na (blade)||1× SPARC T5||3.6 GHz||256 GB||2× 2.5" SAS||Mar 2013|
|SPARC T5-2||3||2× SPARC T5||3.6 GHz||1 TB||6× 2.5" SAS||Mar 2013|
|SPARC T5-4||5||4× SPARC T5||3.6 GHz||2 TB||8× 2.5" SAS||Mar 2013|
|SPARC T5-8||8||8× SPARC T5||3.6 GHz||4 TB||8× 2.5" SAS||Mar 2013|
|SPARC T7-1||2||1× SPARC M7||4.13 GHz||1 TB||8× 2.5" SAS-3||Oct 2015|
|SPARC T7-2||3||2× SPARC M7||4.13 GHz||2 TB||6× 2.5" SAS-3||Oct 2015|
|SPARC T7-4||5||4× SPARC M7||4.13 GHz||4 TB||8× 2.5" SAS||Oct 2015|
|SPARC T8-1||2||1× SPARC M8||5.0 GHz||1 TB||8× 2.5" SAS||Sep 2017|
|SPARC T8-2||3||2× SPARC M8||5.0 GHz||2 TB||6× 2.5" SAS||Sep 2017|
|SPARC T8-4||5||4× SPARC M8||5.0 GHz||4 TB||6× 2.5" SAS||Sep 2017|
- Ashlee Vance (6 December 2005), "At last, Sun unveils UltraSPARC revival", The Register
- Timothy Prickett Morgan (22 July 2009), "Sun cranks clocks on Sparc T2 and T2+", The Register
- Ashlee Vance (13 April 2006), "Sun buffs Opteron, SPARC and Sun Ray", The Register
- Ashlee Vance (10 April 2007), "Sun and Fujitsu to release 256-thread (M)onster", The Register
- Agam Shah (8 October 2007), "Sun delivers first UltraSparc T2-based servers", IT World Canada
- "Oracle Unveils SPARC T3 Processor and SPARC T3 Systems". www.oracle.com. 20 September 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
- Timothy Prickett Morgan (27 September 2011), "Oracle back in the Unix game with Sparc T3 servers", The Register
- "Oracle Launches Next Generation SPARC T4 Servers". www.oracle.com. 26 September 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
- Jean S. Bozman, Matthew Eastwood (April 2012), SPARC Servers: An Effective Choice for Efficiency in the Datacenter, p. 9 (PDF), IDC
- Timothy Prickett Morgan (27 September 2011), "Oracle rises for Unix server push", The Register
- Timothy Prickett Morgan (11 October 2011), "Oracle's Sparc T4 prices mask improved value", The Register
- "Oracle Unveils SPARC Servers with the World's Fastest Microprocessor". www.oracle.com. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- John Mellor-Crummey (14 January 2014), COMP 422 Parallel Computing: An Introduction (PDF), Rice University, p. 22
- Kevin McLaughlin (26 March 2013), "Oracle Unveils Sparc Servers, Touts T5 Processor As 'World's Fastest'", CRN
- "Oracle Announces Breakthrough Processor and Systems Design with SPARC M7". www.oracle.com. 26 October 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2015.