Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz has a very nice post about not only his company’s new, ultra fast chip, but two radical shifts to his company’s business model. It’s very well done.
So when we announce (via this webcast) the fastest microprocessor the industry’s ever seen (the benchmarks are staggering) – and say we’re entering the “commodity microprocessor market,” what does it really mean? It means we’re no longer limiting ourselves to serving an internal market, inside Sun. Instead, we’re opening ourselves up to the broadest market possible – where the opportunity’s largest.
Despite having what’s arguably the single biggest competitive advantage our systems business has ever had, we’ve separated out our microelectronics business – and told them to win on the open market, as well. ….
….To add fuel to the fire, the blueprints for our UltraSPARC T2 (I personally like the moniker, “Niagara 2” – named after Niagara Falls, btw, and the great volumes of water that pass over them), the core design files and test suites, will be available to the open source community, via its most popular license: the GPL. Making Niagara 2 the only commodity silicon whose core designs are available to the open source community – whose strength, and market power, only grows by the day.
These are all huge changes to our business. Driven by a simple philosophy: the open market is bigger than any internal one. But ultimately, why now? A simple reason: because customers building infrastructure for the internet have been asking us to do so.