The World’s Top 64-Bit UNIX Workstation Vendor Boosts Performance by up to 63 Percent in Computing and 76 Percent in Graphics in New Entry-Level System

Santa Clara, Calif.
August 20, 2002

Reinforcing its worldwide leadership in the 64-bit workstation market, Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW) today introduced the new price leader in 64-bit UNIX desktops, the Sun Blade[tm] 150 workstation. Featuring Sun’s latest 64-bit UltraSPARC(R) IIi processor, the Sun Blade 150 workstation offers up to 76 percent performance gains over Sun’s previous price -leading workstations, and is less than half the price of comparable entry-level systems from HP.

“Where’s the value in a PC that you toss out every year or two?” asked Neil Knox, Executive Vice President, Volume Systems Products, Sun Microsystems, Inc. “Sun has sold more than one million Sun Ultra 5 and Ultra 10 workstations combined, that have provided our customers with years and years of reliable performance. When those customers need more compute horsepower or graphics capabilities, the Sun Blade 150 workstation is the perfect upgrade, providing full binary compatibility for a seamless transition, and offering a very low price point for today’s tight budgets.”

The Sun Blade 150 workstation’s improved computing performance and memory addressability make it an ideal upgrade for software developers currently using entry-level Sun Ultra 5 or Sun Blade 100 workstations. The new workstation’s vastly improved 3D graphics performance also makes it an excellent upgrade for Sun Ultra 10 workstation users.

The Sun Blade 150 workstation delivers twice the L2 on-chip cache memory, up to twice the 3D graphics performance, and double the storage capacity of the Sun Blade 100 workstation. Aimed at technical markets that require mission-critical stability and scalability, the Sun Blade 150 workstation’s 64-bit UltraSPARC processor and 64-bit Solaris[tm] Operating Environment deliver a powerful platform for technical computing customers, from electronic design automation (EDA) and mechanical computer-aided engineering/design (MCAE/MCAD), to scientific research, GIS and defense/government organizations.

When configured with the new Sun[tm] XVR-500 graphics accelerator, the Sun Blade 150 workstation delivers advanced workstation graphics capabilities at an affordable price, including: 16 MB of dedicated memory for texture mapping operations; 32 MB of dedicated frame buffer memory; 32-bit Z-buffer support, which provides over 250 times greater precision for three dimensional graphics compared to 24-bit architectures; and high resolution 3D display support. The XVR-500 graphics accelerator, announced in May 2002, is based on 3Dlabs’ Wildcat II architecture and delivers high-performance 3D graphics functionality and image quality, important factors for customers using MCAD, MCAE or GIS visualization applications. The advanced graphics technology delivers up to twice the performance of the Sun Expert3D-Lite graphics card.

Maximum Value in 64-Bit Computing

  • Sun’s UltraSPARC IIi processor – 550 MHz or 650 MHz processor with 512 KB on-chip L2 cache, doubling the 256 KB of the UltraSPARC IIe processor.
  • Large Memory Capacity – Up to 2 GB of addressable memory helps enable support to run complex technical applications with very large data sets.
  • Increased Internal Storage – Up to two internal 40 GB 7200-RPM EIDE hard drives provide high capacity internal storage and expansion.
  • Latest I/O technology – Four USB ports and two IEEE 1394 ports for peripherals. Customers can connect USB-based storage or supported alternative keyboards and mice to suit their preferences. IEEE 1394 helps ensure high-end digital video performance by delivering synchronized video/audio I/O.
  • Built-in Smart Card reader – Provides enhanced security for log-in and access authentication to the system.

Unlike some PCs that are limited by 32-bit architectures, the Sun Blade 150 workstation’s UltraSPARC/Solaris platform can address up to 2 GB of system memory and run both 32- and 64-bit applications without compromising performance. Additionally, the Sun Blade 150 workstation is binary compatible with Sun’s entire range of workstations and servers. And with the optional Sun PCi II Pro coprocessor board, Sun Blade 150 workstation customers can run multiple operating systems simultaneously, including most Windows platforms, providing a faster, more productive environment for cross platform software development while reducing system overhead.

Sun Blade 150 Workstation Cranks up Performance

The Sun Blade 150 workstation also delivers significant performance increases on the SPEC CPU2000 benchmarks. The Sun Blade 150 workstation clocked 41 percent better performance on SPECint2000 versus the Sun Blade 100 workstation and a 52 percent performance boost on SPECfp2000. On the technical computing application ABAQUS, the Sun Blade 150 workstation is up to 63 percent faster than the Sun Blade 100 workstation.

Additionally, the Sun Blade 150 workstation delivers 17% better price/performance than HP’s B2600 entry-level workstation on the SPECint benchmark and 19% better price/performance on SPECfp.

Pricing and Availability

The Sun Blade 150 workstation base configuration includes the 550 MHz UltraSPARC IIi processor, Solaris[tm] 8 Operating Environment, 512 KB on-chip L2 cache, 128 MB SDRAM, PGX64 onboard 2D graphics, and 40 GB internal disk. It is available today starting at $1,395 list price U.S., orderable directly from Sun and authorized Sun Resellers. For more information go to

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About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — “The Network Is The Computer[tm]” — has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 170 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Sun Blade, Solaris, and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. SPARC(R) and UltraSPARC(R) are registered trademarks of SPARC International, Inc. in the United States and other countries. UltraSPARC(R) is licensed exclusively to Sun Microsystems, Inc. Products bearing the SPARC trademarks are based on an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc. UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries exclusively licensed through X/Open Company, Ltd.

SPEC and the benchmark names SPECfp and SPECint are registered trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation. SPEC CPU2000 benchmark results stated above reflect results submitted and/or published on as of August 13, 2002. For the latest SPEC CPU2000 benchmark results, visit As of August 13, 2002, the Sun Blade 150 workstation scored 276 SPECint2000 and 246 SPECfp2000 with a base system entry price of $1,395 at; the HP B2600 scored 403 SPECint2000 and 440 SPECfp2000 with a base system entry price of $6,695 as of August 16, 2002, as shown at