Sun launches 64-bit multiprocessor servers

Sun Microsystems plans to boost its midrange Unix server lineup by announcing a set of multiprocessor systems based on the company's 64-bit UltraSPARC III chip later this month.

The upcoming systems, which Sun is calling "midframes", are expected to feature the 900-MHz version of the copper-based UltraSPARC III processor, according to analysts familiar with the company's plans.

The machines are scheduled to be introduced March 21 at a press conference in New York.

The UltraSPARC III is the most advanced processor Sun has built so far but the appeal to corporate users will be dependent on pricing and how well applications and database software have been tune to take advantage of the new technology, analysts said.

Users who haven't yet upgraded to Sun's Solaris 8 operating system will have to do so to migrate to the new midrange servers. That's the only version of Sun's Unix software that supports the UltraSPARC III chips.

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