Sun and AMD Celebrate Year of Momentum

Solaris 10 Becomes the Industry’s First Operating System to Support High Volume 64-Bit Computing

November 17, 2005

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) and AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced that one year into their burgeoning strategic partnership, the companies continue to dramatically change market dynamics. Most recently this was shown with the debut of the Solaris 10 Operating System (OS) optimized for AMD64 Technology and enterprise computing at Sun’s quarterly Network Computing ’04 launch. To date, Sun has delivered the most comprehensive AMD processor-based systems family in the industry.

This is the first version of Solaris to support the AMD Opteron processor while running in 64-bit mode, enabling customers to take advantage of the industry’s number one UNIX(R) platform, as well as binary compatibility between 32-bit and 64-bit environments. Solaris 10 is optimized for the performance advantage of AMD64 multi-core technology. In 2005 Sun looks forward to the introduction of dual-core AMD Opteron processors.

In a November 2004 Forrester Research report entitled, “Solaris 10 – Major Value for Sun Customers,” Forrester Vice President Richard Fichera states, “A cornerstone of the announcement is full support for Solaris on x86 architectures, with a focus on support for Sun’s own family of AMD Opteron-based servers . . . benefits to Sun customers are significant. Sun users now have more flexible options for consolidation with containers, the opportunity to easily optimize their applications with DTrace, and the option to jump to a commodity hardware price-performance curve with the AMD-based systems.”

“The results of AMD’s strategic partnership with Sun have exceeded our expectations, as well as those of the industry,” said Dirk Meyer, executive vice president, AMD Computation Products Group. “The combination of Sun’s network computing expertise and the AMD Opteron processor with Direct Connect Architecture has provided customers with unprecedented flexibility and scalability, and taken AMD products into enterprise market segments. It has been an extraordinary year. We expect to set new performance levels next year and positively impact total cost of ownership as we continue to redefine the x86 server and workstation market with a growing AMD64 ecosystem and multi-core technology.”

Sun and AMD: A Winning Combination

With support for Solaris 10, Sun’s AMD Opteron processor-based solutions run the platinum standard for enterprise operating systems including: Solaris 9, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0 for 32-bit and 64-bit, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for 64-bit, SUSE Linux 9 Professional for 64-bit, Windows XP, Windows 2003 and Windows 2000 Enterprise Server.

In the year since Sun and AMD joined forces, more than 550 customers in 47 countries have purchased Sun’s AMD Opteron processor-based products including:

  • Sun Fire V20z: The dual-processor Sun Fire V20z server delivers high performance, reliability, and scalability in a low-cost, ultra-dense, rack-optimized 1U form factor.
  • Sun Fire V40z: The Sun Fire V40z server offers excellent performance and affordable pricing for a four-processor server. Using the HyperTransport Technology, this server provides near-linear scalability and extremely fast throughput for x86 applications.
  • Sun Java Workstation W1100z: The single-processor Sun Java Workstation W1100z delivers high-performance computing, workstation-class graphics solutions, high I/O throughput, and the ability to deploy large data sets up to 8 GB in size.
  • Sun Java Workstation W2100z: The dual-processor Sun Java Workstation W2100z delivers extreme performance, visualization-class graphics solutions, high I/O throughput, and the ability to deploy large data sets up to 16 GB in size.

These products have set world record benchmarks in a number of categories running the Solaris OS. For details see

“We will be using the Sun Java Workstation W2100z on AMD Opteron processors for research on robotics, security, digital mapping and any projects requiring 64-bit computing,” said David Livingston, associate director of computer science research, Carnegie Mellon University. “We believe the Sun Java Workstation W2100z is extremely versatile. Its single architecture will enable us to support simultaneous 32-bit and 64-bit computing with no compromises in performance. It will allow us to maintain our existing x86 infrastructure while enabling a smooth migration to next-generation 64-bit operating systems and applications when required. We look forward to continued innovation from Sun and AMD.”

Other customers who are already reaping the benefits from the OS-independent, record breaking speed of Sun’s systems on AMD Opteron processors include: Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, University of Aachen (Germany), Conoco-Phillips, University of Queensland, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Old Dominion University and ST Microelectronics, among many other customers.

With more than 700 independent software vendors (ISVs) providing a wide range of applications that are fully optimized and certified to run Solaris on the x86 platform, the Solaris ecosystem is rapidly gaining momentum. Access to Sun’s Software Express for Solaris program is also enabling early previews of the ground-breaking new technologies in Solaris 10 and priming the market for the company’s channel partner communities and customers to leverage Solaris 10 on Sun’s low-cost, high-volume x86 systems.

“We recognized the advantages of the AMD Opteron processor architecture early and have collaborated with our partners at AMD to build optimized systems to deliver value to our customers,” said John Fowler, executive vice president of Sun’s Network Systems Group. “Sun is committed to delivering the best x86 systems for 32- and 64-bit computing and we are in a great position to drive volume. With Sun already offering unparalleled leadership on operating systems and high-performance hardware on AMD Opteron processors, and with the great promise of the forthcoming dual-core processors from AMD, I’m confident we will continue to outpace the competition.”

For more information on the Sun and AMD strategic alliance, please visit:

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — “The Network Is The Computer” — 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 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Solaris, Sun Fire, Java and The Network Is The Computer 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. UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group.