Oracle Aims To Sparc Sales with New Chip

A new processor rolling out today at OracleEUs OpenWorld event in San Francisco is promising to provide a major boost to the companyEUs server lines. Labeled the M7, the microprocessor is OracleEUs latest version of the Sparc technology it acquired when it bought out Sun Microsystems in 2010.

While the M7 comes with the typical hardware upgrades expected with each new processor generation, Oracle is focusing on the chipEUs software capabilities. The company said that the software techniques embedded into the silicon will not only provide major improvements to system speeds, but will also help guard against programming errors that can yield serious security vulnerabilities.

Better Data Analytics, Database Performance

The M7EUs hardwired functions, known as Software in Silicon, are designed primarily to address two major issues in modern enterprise technology: data analytics and cloud computing, the company said. Several of the features are geared specifically to improving database performance with an eye toward powering business intelligence applications.

To improve database performance, data query accelerator software is hardwired directly into the processor. A query accelerator engine performs specific lookup functions that are part of the data query process, which the company said can improve performance by up to 10 times.

The M7 offers about 160 gigabytes of usable memory bandwidth. The data analytics accelerators (DAX) use 160 gigabytes of peak bandwidth; each DAX unit has four query pipelines, and each M7 can incorporate up to eight DAX units. EUWe can run at full memory bandwidth using those DAX units, supplying all 32 of those query pipelines,EU according to Rick Hetherington, Oracle's vice president of hardware development. EUIf we can peg memory bandwidth, thatEUs about as fast as you can go.EU

Improved Data Integrity

In addition, Oracle has hardwired several programming features designed to detect programming errors directly into the chip. For example, memory...

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